Disestablishing the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is unthinkable, and is not a possible outcome of any review of the orchestral music sector, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said today.
"The NZSO is a world class institution," he said. "It has a fundamental role to play in the future of the orchestral sector. Any suggestion that the NZSO is in any way under threat is utterly without foundation and is laughable."
The Stuff website today ran a story today about the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's review of orchestral music headlined "NZSO could be axed". This is not a possibility.
The discussion document raises a number of options for the future of the sector. One issue raised is whether the NZSO is best served by its current status as a Crown Entity, or whether it could flourish under a different structure more similar to other orchestras and institutions as a non-governmental organisations.
This question relates to governance, and is separate from the matter of continued government support.
"The NZSO is a jewel in the cultural crown," Mr Finlayson said. "There is no question of its survival under this government."
The Minister congratulated the NZSO on its stellar performance last night in Wellington. For the first time for many years, the NZSO performed Wagner's Valkyrie to a near sold-out Michael Fowler Centre.
The Minister also congratulated the Opus Orchestra on its outstanding 21st anniversary concert, which he attended in Hamilton on Friday. This is an orchestra which is making great strides in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area.
"The state of the orchestral sector in New Zealand is very strong. It is in that context that the discussion document on orchestras was released today."
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