Ministers Madigan and Naughten announce plans for future of the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D. and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D. today welcomed the decision of the Government in relation to the future of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

At its cabinet meeting today the Government agreed in principle that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra should come within the remit of the National Concert Hall and should not be established as a separate State body.

The Government also authorised the initiation of discussions on the implementation of the recommendations of the report on RTÉ Orchestras Ensuring a sustainable future by Helen Boaden and Mediatique. These discussions are to be carried out under the aegis of an oversight group with participation by both Departments, to be chaired by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and a working group involving RTÉ and the National Concert Hall which will include consultation with employees of both orchestras.

This report recommends that the National Symphony Orchestra should be a national cultural institution in its own right or within the National Concert Hall. The report also states that the RTÉ Concert Orchestra should continue to be part of RTÉ functioning as a classic radio orchestra. The importance of maintaining a strong connection between both orchestras is also recognised.

Speaking today Minister Madigan said ‘I welcome the Government’s decision in relation to the future of the National Symphony Orchestra. The National Symphony Orchestra has been located in the National Concert Hall since it opened in 1981 and provides the backbone to the Hall’s orchestral music programme. There is now an opportunity for a combined creative and imaginative programme strategy which will greatly enhance the offering of both organisations to the public.’

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten T.D. said   ‘I welcome the Government decision in relation to this review which will underpin greater access for audiences to orchestral music throughout the country”.

Minister Madigan said today that she will now establish an oversight group to begin discussions on the implementation of the Boaden Report’s recommendations.  The purpose of the group will be to identify and address the relevant issues to enable the successful transfer of the NSO from the remit of RTÉ to the remit of the National Concert Hall. It is also envisaged that there will be a working group involving RTÉ and the National Concert Hall which will include consultation with the employees of both orchestras. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will chair the Oversight Group and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment will also participate.

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