New Zealand is diversifying its orchestra – Slipped Disc

Posted: September 24, 2021 at 11:26 am

norman lebrecht

September 24, 2021

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra chief executive Peter Biggs has told a parliamentary select committee that he is aiming to correct the companys gender imbalance and minority quotient.

From his reported comments:

Biggs said the NZSO was working on a new set of values It altered its touring model to deeply engage with diverse communitiesparticularly Mori and rangatahiand reverse its carbon footprint

Biggs said the orchestra was very conscious of the need for gender balance within its staffing, but acknowledged this was a generational issue. He expected a number of players over the coming years to retire. More young women were both coming through as musicians, and being recruited into the player contingent. This was mainly due to many Kiwis returning from overseas, and they were also coming from the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Biggs also said the orchestra could do better in terms of cultural diversity across its staff.

It had room to improve on representing Aotearoa better, Thompson said. The NZSO was looking at working with Tongan brass bands in south Auckland, and Pacific choirs.

Collaborations were under way with two iwi Ngi Thoe and Ngi Tahuwhich if successful the NZSO hoped to use as models for future work. It was also looking to invest in a director of Mori engagement. Theres a lot of work to be done in this space, he said.

Confession is good for the soul. Contrition is good for state funding.

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New Zealand is diversifying its orchestra - Slipped Disc

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