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CLASSICAL  August 2000

CLASSICAL August 2000

Subject:

Re: Orchestras in Tokyo

From:

Matthew Gillett <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 4 Aug 2000 09:17:06 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (37 lines)

Here in Queensland (Down Under) we are going through the same merger
processes with the state and federal governments telling the Philharmonic
and Symphony Orchestras that it was going to happen - like it or not.  The
main reason given was that the smaller Philharmonic Orchestra was in too
much debt and if it did not merge with the Symphony Orchestra it would just
cease to exist in the not too distant future.  Another reason qouted was
that Brisbane is too small to support two orchestras.  It is true that the
QPO were and still are very deep in debt but it comes as no surprise when
we learn from a government subsidised report on arts funding that they were
the only orchestra in the country (we have only 10 full time orchestras in
Oz) to not receive monetary support from the federal government.  Of course
the main issue now is are there going to be any job losses due to the
process.  Neither the QSO or the QPO were full size orchestras employing
about 72 and 30 people respectively.  Under the merger they would create
what is being called a "community of musicians" whose number is still to
be determined.  Todays "Australian" newspaper tells us that the Federal
Arts Minister has not ruled out the possiblity of job losses.  This is to
be deternied by the new board which is hoped to be set up within six weeks.
A number of 96 has been mentioned in the past and was even the number
recommended by the report.  The State Arts Minister also could not
guarantee that there would be no job losses is quoted as saying that "job
security is a top priority for our Government and we'll be monitoring the
situation very closely".  Regardless of whether the "community of
musicians" numbers 102 or 96 there will be a degree of job loss and that
is in the area of the casual players that the orchestras employ.  As one
of many of the casual players used by both orchestras the "devil in the
detail" is something that is of great concern to me.  Many of the casuals
are wondering - like the full-time players - what effect all of this will
have.  We are told that the new entity should be up and running in time for
the beginning of next year.  It has taken ten years to get to the stage of
saying that the merger will take place and with the make-up of the board
still six weeks away it does make you wonder come January whether they will
be ready.

Matthew Gillett
[log in to unmask]

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