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Boris Johnson on South Bank for music education launch

Mayor of London Boris Johnson visited the Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday morning to launch his new music education strategy.

Boris Johnon

The Mayor was visibly startled as he was serenaded by pupils from St Stephen's Primary School in Lambeth welcoming him to the South Bank by name.

City Hall has published 'Making Music Matter: Music Education Strategy for London 2010-2012' and unveiled plans for a new fund aimed at increasing music education across the capital.

The Mayor's office claims that more than £250,000 is being put into a range of projects under the Mayor's plans to boost musical opportunities for young Londoners, both as players and as audiences, including the Music Education Fund, which is worth £100,000.

In his speech the Mayor recalled with affection the emphasis placed on music at his own primary school in Primrose Hill and quoted his grandmother as saying that 'music nourishes the soul'.

"Last year, 60,000 people flocked to the Royal Festival Hall to hear the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, including 4,000 school children who were thrilled by their extraordinary demonstration of what music education can be," says Alan Bishop, chief executive of Southbank Centre.

"We believe in the power of music to give opportunity, and through initiatives such as In Harmony, which brings the joy of learning an instrument to young people in some of the most deprived areas of Lambeth, Southbank Centre tried to help bring music to everyone."

• On Tuesday evening Prince Edward, patron of Chetham's School of Music, will attend a performance of Verdi's Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall.

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