Byline: David Whetstone
If anything would seem to need nurturing at a time when money is tight, it's classical music.
Oft-expressed fears that the audience is dwindling would not have been allayed by a concert at The Sage Gateshead in December by City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
If these 'big bands' are what people want, it wasn't borne out by this sparse attendance.
You can't accuse the Sage programmers of not trying. They have put together a lively and varied classical music season and devised alternatives to the traditional - and, for many people, inconvenient - 7.30pm start.
If there's a new audience to be wooed, why not look …