A sea change at Europe’s radio orchestras

Posted on: October 29, 2015

In Wednesday’s (10/28) International New York Times, George Loomis writes that in Europe, “The role of radio orchestras has evolved through the years since their founding in the early years of radio…. In Germany there are around a dozen radio orchestras; Britain has five, France two…. Because they are considered to fulfill a public service, radio orchestras remain a vital part of the European cultural landscape.… After recently incurring its first operating deficit, Radio France explored many cost-cutting measures, provoking a debilitating monthlong strike.… Despite widespread opposition, a plan remains on track in Germany to merge the SWR Symphony Orchestra, based in Freiburg and Baden-Baden, and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, in 2016. The RAI National Symphony was formed by the merger of RAI’s four radio orchestras in 1994 and is now Italy’s sole radio orchestra.… Christina Rocca, formerly artistic director of the Orchestre National de France and, since March, vice president for artistic planning of the Chicago Symphony, expressed relief that each of Radio France’s orchestras would remain intact. ‘Orchestras have their own personalities, and it makes no more sense to merge them than to merge football teams,’ she said.”

Posted October 29, 2015