Dutch government decision on MCO becomes reality
The Dutch government unfolded its plans for the MCO in a letter to the Lower House of Dutch Parliament dated 17 June 2011. In broad outline, they are as follows: continuing two fully-fledged symphonic ensembles (the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir), phasing out the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and possibly transforming the Metropole Orchestra into an independent entity. Under the proposed plans, the current budget of € 31 million will be reduced to € 14 million in the calendar year of 2013.
Contribution to national orchestra structure
The government also stated that it attached great importance to the role of the public broadcasting system in the field of ‘living’ music in the Netherlands. The minister drew particular attention to “how the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra contributes to the national orchestral structure and the role of the Netherlands Radio Choir in the vocal tradition, well beyond the confines of the broadcasting world”. She also observed that “continuity of the two ensembles in their present form” should be guaranteed as far as possible. The minister pointed out that the Netherlands Radio Choir is "the only professional choir specialised in large-scale choral productions". Lastly, the minister stressed the fact that “both the Radio Philharmonic and the Radio Choir are of a very high level both nationally and internationally".
What this means in concrete terms for the MCO is as follows:
- The MCO Foundation will continue to exist in its present form until August 2013 and will fully retain all its rights, obligations and responsibilities;
- Its series will continue to be performed until August 2013;
- A new artistic plan for living music must be adopted by the public broadcasting system for the period after August 2013;
- The Radio Chamber Philharmonic will be phased out;
- Before 1 November 2011 MCO will present a business plan proposal transforming the Metropole Orchestra into an autonomous entity;
- In a proposal to be presented before 1 January 2012, MCO will set forth a plan on where the other ensembles, the education function and the music library will find accommodation.
In the latter respect, the MCO management is negotiating with the municipality of Hilversum in an attempt to retain the rehearsal facilities in the building they use on Heuvellaan.
If there are any new developments, they will be published straight away on www.mco.nl.
> read Handelingen van het mediadebat in de Tweede Kamer van 29 juni 2011 (in Dutch) (any comments on MCO are highlighted in yellow)
> read 'Uitwerking regeerakkoord onderdeel media' by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (in Dutch)
Laatste aanpassing op Tuesday 11 October 2011