EVERY organisation in the country has had to rearrange its affairs to cope with reduced revenues. RTÉ is no different and is reviewing its funding of performing groups.
There is a suggestion that the only group based outside Dublin, the Vanburgh Quartet based in Cork, might be axed.The quartet’s members have taken a 40% pay cut while approximately 300 Dublin-based RTÉ musicians have had just a 5% pay cut. RTÉ has funded a quartet in Cork for nearly half a century. This happy reality has raised standards to enviable heights. It also brought chamber music to venues right around the country that are unable to host larger classical performing groups.
RTÉ, if it has any commitment to its public service remit, must be aware that any such a move would be utterly unacceptable. Surely, a reorganisation of the Dublin musicians and the small army of administrators attached to them would ensure the survival RTÉ’s only music group outside of Dublin.
Director of the CIT Cork School of Music, Dr Geoffrey Spratt has described the proposal as “a single act of short-sighted barbarism”. He is right.
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