A feature by Dominic Lash
There are of course tensions between conservatism and change even in situations (like contemporary music) where one might hope that the emphasis would fall naturally on change. There's nothing too surprising in this: the efforts to establish a certain platform and achieve a level of respect for a new form are frequently so demanding, and require so much continual labor to defend, that we should not be too astonished if this defense sometimes morphs into a neo-conservatism. And of course nobody wants running a clean bath to be achieved at the expense of chucking out the infant sat in it, even if the water has become cold and murky. So Graham McKenzie, who has been artistic director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival for ten years now, is to be applauded for the course he has steered between the old new and the new new.