Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) welcomes the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Professional Orchestral Sector Review discussion paper, released yesterday, but believes it does not accurately give due credit to the APO within New Zealand’s orchestral community.
APO chair Dame Rosanne Meo says the review has been needed for some time. However, the APO takes issue with the way it has been presented in the discussion document, which Dame Rosanne believes may influence how the community views the issue.
“The discussion paper offers New Zealanders an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the many and varied ways orchestras contribute to their lives. However, we are concerned the discussion paper does not reflect that Auckland is New Zealand’s only metropolis with a world class orchestra, and one with a significant and increasing support from its community,” says Dame Rosanne.
“The APO is an orchestra of international quality with 70 full-time professional musicians who undertake more than 93 performances annually, encompassing the full range of orchestral repertoire to massive critical acclaim. The document’s implication that only one orchestra is equipped to perform the most challenging works of the repertoire is simply incorrect.”
The APO believes there is room in New Zealand for two world-class orchestras in the NZSO and the APO, but we need to be smarter about funding, work programmes and accountabilities. The APO would like to see the inequality of the Government’s current funding structure addressed. Currently the NZSO receives $13.4m or 80 per cent of the $17m funding that goes to the total orchestral sector from central government. The APO receives just over 12 per cent, or $2.1m, from Creative New Zealand.
“For the record, the APO is in support of retaining the NZSO. We were pleased to hear Minister Finlayson clarify so forcefully yesterday that the NZSO is not to be disbanded. But the APO plays an important role in the lives of Aucklanders from all walks of life, through mainstage concerts and our extensive education, community and outreach programme. The APO is here for everybody who lives here. To make sure it stays here, we need a fairer share of funding,” adds Dame Rosanne.
“A 21st century orchestra is and should be a key part of the community it serves, reflecting and contributing to the vibrancy of that community. We believe the APO is a true example of this, as too is the NZSO. The creativity and talent of New Zealanders is well reflected in the quality and breadth of our orchestral sector.
“The APO looks forward to engaging constructively with the review process and working with our colleagues within the sector to secure the best outcome for all New Zealanders.”