A message to our readers, one year on
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Thank you for your continued support, both of Gramophone and of the whole music community
Exactly a year ago I published a letter to you amid the unsettling changes befalling us all as the UK, along with most of the rest of the world, entered lockdown. The months that followed would see us all largely confined to our homes or at best local environs, and our concert halls closed.
Here at Gramophone my colleagues all brought extraordinary levels of commitment and creativity to ensuring that the magazine continued to be published to its usual high standard every month, and that it reached you. Last week, as I signed off the April edition of the magazine, I reflected that an entire year's cycle of issues had now been produced and published from our respective home offices and (in my case at least!) dining tables. I am truly grateful to – and humbled by – each and every one of Gramophone’s staff and contributors for what they have achieved in such unprecedented circumstances (which, aside from the magazine itself, also included organising an online charity gala that raised about £20,000 for struggling musicians, and a Gramophone Awards ceremony that was watched by 330,000 households).
The continued contact with our community of readers through the pages of our magazine and website (and, in return, via letters and emails), through the course of the year has been, and continues to be, a light in dark times for all of us – second only to the light brought by the music itself that we write, and you read, about. So I would like to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks to you all, and to welcome those new readers who have taken out subscriptions in the past year – we really value your support.
I am, however, painfully aware that 12 months on, the challenges facing our colleagues and friends in our wider classical community – the artists and many others in the vast range of roles involved in producing and performing music – remain, and in many ways are further exacerbated by the cumulative impact of not having been able to work for so long. This is not the place to explore these issues in depth, not least because the different national strategies regarding restrictions, vaccines and funding means the situation is a far from uniform one.
But a universal point absolutely can be made: that we can all do our bit to continue to support musicians in whatever way we can, by donating to many of the excellent organisations such as, in this country, Help Musicians, and by watching and listening to music and, crucially, paying or donating to do so. I know that many of our readers have been generously helping the music community in exactly these ways this past year – I thank you for this, and please continue to do so if you are able.
Already my inbox is filling with information about summer events: the innovation and initiative being shown by so many organisations is truly inspiring, and we're now beginning to work on our festival guide, due in our June issue. I'm not naive enough to expect an immediate return to normality, and uncertainty remains, but – one year on from that initial lockdown letter – the one other thing we can all do is to look ahead with hope to the brighter days that will arrive.
Do continue to take care of yourselves.
My very best wishes.