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Potential of broadcasting ensembles could be better exploited


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Image: Foppe Schut

This is stated in an advisory report the Culture Council sent 3 February to state secretary Uslu for Culture and Media. She had asked the council in November 2022 to reflect on the 2022-2026 multi-year policy plan of Stichting Omroep Muziek (SOM), which includes the broadcasting ensembles.

The council judged positively the artistic quality of the broadcasting ensembles and the innovative wind that blew during the corona pandemic. Both ensembles flourish in the three broadcasting series programmed by the cooperating broadcasters: the AVROTROS Friday Concert in TivoliVredenburg and the NTR Saturday Matinee and the AVROTROS Sunday Morning Concert in Het Concertgebouw.

With current developments in the media landscape, the council sees many opportunities for a more varied and innovative use of broadcasting ensembles. Among others, the council mentions the focus on culture and classical music in particular in the policies of NTR and AVROTROS and the renewed platform NPO Klassiek (until recently NPO Radio 4). To make better use of the potential, developing new formats, music innovation and appealing to a more diverse and inclusive audience are necessary. In this, a specialised music company like SOM can be of great added value.

This does require new agreements on cooperation and the division of responsibilities between SOM and its main partners: NPO, NTR, AVROTROS and NPO Klassiek, the council believes. It feels that SOM is currently too subordinated to the broadcasters, which does not suit its independent position within the broadcasting system.

The council can imagine that the SOM would benefit from (once again) having its own artistic director with a solid artistic and connecting profile. This person could act as a discussion partner with the broadcasters about the role of classical music on radio, television and online. He or she can also participate in the NPO's Culture genre consultation. The council sees a coordinating role for NPO to bring the parties involved around the table again.

Finally, the council suggests having the SOM and its ensembles monitored or evaluated by an independent party, such as the Culture Council or a review committee.

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