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MU Delighted by BBC Development in East London

The Musicians’ Union has expressed its delight at the exciting news that the BBC has announced plans for new music studios in Stratford.

The Musicians’ Union has expressed its delight at the exciting news that the BBC has announced plans for new music studios in Stratford.

The organisation particularly welcomes the news of the development, as it will create a new home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the BBC Singers, and host regular visits by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

In addition, the Union is very pleased to learn that the new facilities will accommodate the BBC’s live recording facility for contemporary artists of all genres.

Whilst this will mean goodbye to the corporation’s association with Maida Vale, which has hosted numerous broadcasts by artists on its principal radio channels, the new facility at Stratford Waterfront – scheduled to open by 2023 – should prove a superb new home for the Orchestra, Chorus and Singers.

It will also be used by the BBC Concert Orchestra and for live music performances across BBC radio.

The BBC's aim is that locating its recording studios in Stratford will help establish the area as a music destination. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network, Radio 2, Radio 3, 6 Music and BBC Introducing will be broadcasting from the site.

It is also planned that outdoor events will take place in this new cultural quarter and at local venues, as well as studio-based workshops and further Proms related events.

Comment on the development

Bill Kerr, MU National Organiser – Orchestras, says:

“The MU has been working closely with the BBC for some years to find new accommodation for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Maida Vale studios, home of the BBCSO since 1930 and rock and pop broadcasting since the 1960s, was built in 1909 as a roller skating rink and is now acknowledged as in need of replacement.”

Naomi Pohl, MU Assistant General Secretary, adds:

“The move will make the BBC Symphony the first professional orchestra to be based in east London. The MU heartily welcomes and supports the interaction with local communities that this move will facilitate, allowing the orchestra to be involved with local organisations, schools and hubs and making symphonic music a part of people’s everyday life.”

Daniel Meyer, BBCSO violinist, MU Steward and Chair of both the MU Orchestra Section and the BBC Orchestras Committee, says:

“I am delighted that the BBC is investing in the future of the BBCSO, BBC Singers and Chorus. Maida Vale Studios are sadly no longer fit for purpose and following a longstanding campaign by the Orchestra, ably supported by the Musicians’ Union, we look forward to purpose-built facilities and a chance to engage more directly with our audience in the community.”

Published: 06/06/2018

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