What would you go without, Auckland?

Given that an increase in government funding for orchestras is unlikely ain’t gonna happen, all we can think about is redistributing a fixed amount of money.

In all the hoo-ha about the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s review of the professional orchestral sector, one idea that has wide popularity is to reduce the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s touring obligations outside of Wellington. The costs saved would be passed to the other orchestras to improve quality overall.

Auckland is arguably quite well served for orchestral concerts: the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra delivers a comprehensive yet adventurous subscription programme year on year. On top of that, the NZSO does more in Auckland than any other city except Wellington. But do they need to? read more

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Orchestral sector review

Just a reminder: I am continuing to update my original post on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s orchestral sector review.

If you click through to the piece from 24 July, you will now find over two dozen links to discussion papers, media articles, radio interviews and position statements. If there’s anything I’ve missed, please leave a comment and I’ll add a link.

A reminder that submissions close on Sunday 26 August. You can do that through the MCH website.

© Douglas Lilburn & Waiteata Music Press

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The NZSO ain’t getting axed (ditto APO, VWO, CSO & SS)

Yesterday, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage released a discussion paper as part of their New Zealand Professional Orchestra Sector Review.

The above paragraph is a simple, non-controversial, balanced declarative sentence. That’s more than Stuff and TVNZ can say. However, it’s easy for me to take the moral high ground because I’m neither a newspaper chain that needs to drive eyeballs to my website, nor a faux-public broadcaster that has the same commercial imperative.

The NZSO rehearsing for “Leaps & Sounds” at the Michael Fowler Centre.

These two media outlets reported the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the country’s oldest and best funded orchestra, may be “axed” (Stuff) or “scrapped” (TVNZ). Radio New Zealand National didn’t do much better: Checkpoint’s headline was “Culture and Heritage releases report on the NZSO” (yes, and four other orchestras too). Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage Chris Finlayson has since said that disestablishment is “unthinkable”. read more

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