The Patrons

Composer Gerard Mcburney tells the stories of four different kinds of musical patron, asking who pays for new music and how often surplus income and good taste are combined.



Winnie Singer, Princesse de Polignac, combined an American inheritance from the sewing machine fortune with a taste for the modern in life and art, as a visit to her salon in PARIS reveals.

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Composer Gerard Mcburney profiLes Paul Sacher, who married into a PHARMACEUTICALS fortune and spent it by commissioning, conducting and collecting the best in 20th-century music.

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Gerard Mcburney visits Boston to find out about the life of Serge Koussevitzky, a conductor and double-bass virtuoso whose enthusiastic support of young composers transformed the US musical scene.

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This programme considers patrons of new music in Britain today, such as the Sound Investors, who buy shares in pieces of music which are then performed by the BIRMINGHAM Contemporary Music Group. Gerard Mcburney, himself once the beneficiary of the investment scheme, hears from other beneficiaries and considers the alternatives.