RTÉ Board Responds to Orchestras Report
The RTÉ Board has issued a statement on the RTÉ Orchestras: Ensuring a Sustainable Future report produced by Helen Boaden and Mediatique and published this week.
The statement comments that the report
…shows the challenges and opportunities that face RTÉ’s orchestras, placing the issue of their funding and provision in an international context as well as acknowledging the changing nature of the audience. In particular, the Board welcomes a clear recognition in the report that Ireland needs two full-time professional orchestras.
The statement praises the review for ‘consulting widely and … accurately reflecting the views and concerns of many, both within RTÉ and across the orchestral and broader cultural sector.’
The 83-page report highlights a range of issues, from orchestra vacancies, funding and artistic direction through to declining regional touring and educational outreach. The principle recommendation is that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra – the larger of RTÉ’s two orchestras – be established as a separate cultural institution with direct funding from Government. RTÉ would continue to provide €4m of annual funding in return for broadcasting rights.
The Government has already issued a statement welcoming the recommendation. The RTÉ Board statement concludes:
RTÉ’s orchestras are central to orchestral music in Ireland and RTÉ is acutely conscious that any decisions that follow this review will not be for it alone to make. The support of Government will be essential if orchestral music in Ireland is to flourish. It is also clear that, as far as the RTÉ orchestras are concerned, the status quo cannot continue.
In that regard the Board would like to acknowledge the statement from Ministers Naughten and Madigan, which clearly welcomed the recommendations of the report and indicated a willingness to engage with RTÉ to chart a positive future for both orchestras. That is most welcome…. [T]he Board would now ask the Director-General and her executive team to begin discussions with Government and with other internal and external stakeholders to develop a sustainable future for our national orchestras.
Download the full report below.