With Goverment Funding Package, Australian Orchestras Will Continue to Operate at Full Size

Classic Arts News   With Goverment Funding Package, Australian Orchestras Will Continue to Operate at Full Size
 
The Australian government has pledged over A$25 million to its state orchestras, Gramophone online reports.

Treasurer Peter Costello announced the funding package on May 10 with the federal budget.

The funding, which will be spread out over four years, represents a reprieve from threats of downsizing. In a government-commissioned report released in March, James Strong recommended downsizing orchestras in Adelaide, Tasmania, and Queensland—in addition to other financial and administrative recommendations—in order to improve their sustainability.

Under Strong's recommendation, the Queensland Orchestra would have been reduced from 85 musicians to 74, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra would go from 47 to 38 (making it a chamber, rather than a full, orchestra), and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra would be reduced from 75 musicians to 56.

Strong's report generated considerable backlash, including campaigning from all three affected states.

Others of Strong's recommendations are being followed, such as money allocated to occupational health and safety training, and support of a two-year program to "improve artistic standards."

Rod Kemp, minister for the arts, said, "The government's response to the recommendations of the Strong review will put orchestras on a strong financial footing and help them become independent organizations with responsibility for their own artistic and financial future."


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