In this Sunday Feature, Petroc Trelawny visits the American city of Detroit to look at how the ravages of economic decline have affected the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
In the good old days, cars flew off the production lines and the motor industry made generous donations to the orchestra in an act of civic pride. The orchestra responded, under the batons of conductors like Paul Paray and Antal Dorati, by becoming one of the pre-eminent American institutions, renowned the world over for its motor-like mechanical precision and musicality, as well as providing the string sound to many Motown hits.
However, the recession hit Detroit years before it took a strangle-hold on the rest of the world and the Detroit of today is marked by crime, unemployment, depopulation and, crucially, the dramatic decline of commerce and industry. This has had a knock-on effect on the arts.
You can listen to the show on line through this weekend by clicking here.