Possible funding challenges ahead for New Zealand Symphony

Posted on: December 2, 2010

In Thursday’s (12/2) Dominion Post (New Zealand), Tom Cardy and Tom Fitzsimmons report, “Despite standing ovations in Europe, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra faces a possible shake-up after one of the most difficult times in its 64-year history. Documents reveal that the NZSO has been in talks with government agencies about its future and its relationship with the four regional orchestras. It has been told there will be no increase in government funding, while Vector Wellington Orchestra and Southern Sinfonia already fear their funding will be cut. Details were revealed in Culture and Heritage Ministry documents provided to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act. The documents do not suggest that the NZSO—which gets $13.4 million from taxpayers—be wound up, but indicate the Government is considering changes. … Last year the NZSO said any cut in musician numbers or salary cuts would mean it would lose its most talented players. Chief executive Peter Walls said the orchestra had struggled in the recession and expected to make a loss next year. … After the NZSO posted a loss in 2004, funding was increased by $1.6 million. The orchestra wants to raise box office earnings, but has not increased ticket prices.”

Posted December 2, 2010