“The new season’s offerings of both the National Concert Hall and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra were announced at the end of last month,” writes Michael Dervan in Wednesday’s (6/12) Irish Times (Dublin). “The two institutions will in the near future cease to have separate existences…. What do the two seasons tell us about the two organizations? … The [NSO’s] quoted total of 43 concerts boils down to 31 symphonic programs…. [Chief conductor] Jaime Martín … has just six programs…. As well as repertoire staples … he has chosen works by living Irish composers [and] there are works by Ina Boyle, Sofia Gubaidulina and Caroline Shaw…. Unlike the NSO, the NCH has explicit commitments to female musicians … yet … not a single female composer … is identified in the season brochure.… These kinds of failings have persisted at the hall for decades. And yet it’s to the NCH that the Government has chosen to entrust the future of the National Symphony Orchestra. The hall and the orchestra have not yet given the slightest hint of what they intend to do over the 30 or so months from 2021 when the venue will be dark to enable long-overdue refurbishment to take place.”

Posted June 13, 2019