National Symphony Orchestra move will save RTÉ € 8m a year

Budget allocates funds for orchestra’s planned move to National Concert Hall

The National Symphony Orchestra is to move from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall. Photograph: RTÉ

The National Symphony Orchestra is to move from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall. Photograph: RTÉ

 

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is set to transfer from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall (NCH) next year, with € 8million – the annual cost of the orchestra – set aside in the budget this week for the move.

At a budget briefing Minister for Culture Catherine Martin said it was “a significant step” towards “enabling the orchestra to be established as a world-class orchestra” and with the NCH, offer an imaginative programme and “ enhance the offering of the combined organisation to the public”.

The transfer of the NSO, the State’s largest permanent group of performing artists, from the remit of RTÉ to the NCH, which has been described by some musicians as a “reverse takeover” given the relative sizes of their operations, was decided by Government in 2018, following an independent review by Helen Boaden, commissioned by RTÉ.

The move came at the behest of RTÉ, which said it hadn’t enough funds to continue running two orchestras. The smaller RTÉ Concert Orchestra remains under the remit of RTÉ.

Replying to a question at the briefing Ms Martin acknowledged it represented an €8million saving to RTÉ. The broadcaster has funded the NSO from its share of TV licence revenue.