The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has recently released its report on the New Zealand Professional Orchestra Review. The CSO supports a strong and relevant orchestral sector that engages with wide and diverse communities and therefore welcomed the release of the report.
Many of you expressed interest in the review and made submissions to the Ministry. I would like to thank you for this interest and support. I invite you to read the report found here MCH Final Report
We have taken some time to digest the various recommendations and provide you with some initial thoughts about the likely impact on the CSO.
The CSO viewed the two-year review as an opportunity for the government to re-vision how orchestral music is delivered across New Zealand, particularly in terms of a more equitable distribution of resources across the regions. In the main, the recommendations support the status quo. We do welcome the Ministry’s call for more policy co-ordination and collaboration across the sector. Likewise, we are delighted that our position has been endorsed through the recommendations of the review and pleased we have greater funding certainty.
The CSO has been reframed as a “city” rather than a “regional” orchestra. The CSO is Christchurch’s orchestra – and proud to be so – and we aspire to offer greater artistic leadership in Christchurch. Equally we are proud of our extensive work in the wider Canterbury region, the West Coast and Southland through touring and our education and outreach programme. The report does not acknowledge this important role.
Of concern to us is the particular impact the changes recommended in this report might have in the South Island. The NZSO is no longer required to tour to communities of less than 50,000 people but there is no corresponding support for regional orchestras to take a greater role. Many people in the South Island may lose the opportunity to experience live orchestral music as a result.
As we stated in our submission to the Ministry, the CSO is committed to growing our regional presence and to providing more of our region with the chance to enjoy live orchestral music and services. We consider the CSO is ideally placed to do this in a cost-effective way that builds on our existing activity in the region. We look forward to working cooperatively with other orchestras operating in the South Island, funders and sponsors to realise this vision.
The CSO is proud to be the orchestra of this community. Your donation will ensure we continue to bring orchestral music to Christchurch. There are a variety of ways you can donate to the orchestra, click on the link to find out how.
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