Ireland is killing an orchestra by stealth

Ireland is killing an orchestra by stealth


norman lebrecht

November 08, 2017

Michael Dervan in the Irish Times believes the national broadcaster is trying to merge its two orchestras. Twenty posts have gone already.

Developments in RTÉ over the last few years have been eating away at the national broadcaster’s employment of musicians. The station has been using a form of atrophy, by not filling posts as they are vacated, as well as a more active strategy of allowing its orchestral musicians to avail of voluntary redundancy schemes.      

More than 20 jobs have already disappeared in this way, and one highly placed source in RTÉ has said that by next June about one in five of the total of positions in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will have been vacated…

That nice new Taoiseach needs to get involved.

Read on here.



  • John Borstlap says:

    Why don’t these players go to China? There, Western classical music is embraced with the surprise and eagerness of newness and progress and modernity, while in the rich, lazy and spoiled decadence of the West a majority of people, including lots of politicians, want to get rid of the family jewels.

  • Dan P. says:

    China is headed by a dictator with absolute political power, has no freedom of speech, and is subjugated by a corrupt judicial system that functions mainly to carry out the party policy. Why would anyone want to go there except for a visit the sights, eat the food, and then get out?

  • Andrew Condon says:

    Sad news. I heard the RTE for the first time a couple of weeks ago when in Dublin. They are a fine orchestra – excellent performance of the Suk Asrael Symphony (a work which must have been new to most of them).

    • Finbar Costello says:

      There is no “the RTE”. There are two orchestras – RTE Symphony Orchestra and RTE Concert Orchestra – and the company wants to merge the two. (And the RTESO would have played the Asrael quite a few times in the last decade or so.)

      • Seamus Doyle says:

        Two full time professional orchestras only in Ireland, full names RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Funnily enough, both orchestras will have played in China during 2017 to early 2018. A relocation has not been suggested though. Nor has a relocation of our museums, hospitals, police service etc. Still great to see real support for orchestras in so many countries, including China. Keep an eye on the story – all music lovers are hoping for a very positive outcome. See if you can contribute to this in some way.

  • CJ Fox says:

    China has been cited by Amnesty International as a country with a human rights issue also it does not have free elections until they do we should boycott it like South Africa years ago.