The National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) (Amendment) Bill 2022 provides the legislative underpinning for the transfer of the National Symphony Orchestra and Choirs from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall.
The transfer is an important next step in delivering on the National Concert Hall’s vision of being an inspiring and world-renowned music destination, accessible to all and enriching the cultural landscape of Ireland. The National Symphony Orchestra, as Ireland’s premier orchestra, is central to delivering on this vision which, coupled with the ambitious redevelopment plans for the Concert Hall under the National Development Plan, will see it transform into the pre-eminent centre for music in Ireland.
The Bill is, in the main, a technical Bill to support the transfer of functions. Its main provisions are:
- The transfer of functions relating to the National Symphony Orchestra and Choirs from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall;
- Standard provisions relating to the transfer of staff, property, liabilities and legal undertakings related to the orchestra and choirs from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall; and
- An increase in the number of Board members on the Board of the National Concert Hall to provide for a new member with specific expertise in the development of orchestras.
This administrative transfer of the orchestra and choirs took place on 24 January 2022 and the orchestra and choirs are now operating fully within the NCH’s administrative structures.
Speaking today Minister Martin said:
“I am pleased to oversee the publication of this Bill, which represents an important step in the journey of both the orchestra and the National Concert Hall. The transfer is a critical part of the NCH’s ambitious vision for the development of symphonic music in Ireland, with a restored symphony orchestra taking its place in a 21st century concert hall.”
Minister Martin added:
“This legislation will enable the NCH to commence the process of returning the orchestra to full strength and empower them to deliver on the artistic vision outlined in the Boaden report.”
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Notes to Editor:
Overview of the provisions contained in the Bill
The Bill is divided into 4 parts, the main provisions of which are summarised below.
Part 1 - Preliminary and general
Section 1 sets out the short title of the Bill.
Section 2 is a standard provision providing definitions for certain words and terms used in the Bill.
Section 3 is a standard provision regarding expenses incurred by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in the administration of the Bill, once enacted.
Part 2 - Hall Transfer of Functions, Staff and Property to NCH
Section 4 provides for the transfer of functions relating to the orchestra and choirs from RTÉ to the NCH on the transfer day. It also provides for the transfer of any administration and business in the performance of those functions.
Section 5 provides for the transfer of staff who performed duties relating to the orchestra or choirs from RTÉ to the NCH and sets the conditions for that transfer.
Section 6 provides for the transfer of such property, choses-in-action, moneys, stocks, shares and securities, as are agreed between RTÉ and the NCH, from RTÉ to the NCH.
Section 7 provides for the transfer of rights and liabilities relating to the orchestra or choirs from RTÉ to the NCH.
Section 8 provides for the transfer of existing contracts relating to the orchestra or choirs from RTÉ to the NCH.
Section 9 substitutes the name of the National Concert Hall for that of RTÉ in any legal proceedings relating to the orchestra or choirs.
Section 10 provides that every act done by RTÉ or the NCH in relation to the transfer prior to the commencement of this part shall be deemed valid and effectual for all purposes.
Part 3 - Amendment of Principal Act
Section 11 amends section 7 of the Principal Act to add the maintenance and operation of an orchestra and choir to the functions of the NCH.
Section 12 amends section 10 of the Principal Act to increase the membership of the Board from 8 to 9 members, and provides that at least one Board member must have experience of and expertise in the development of orchestras.
Section 13 amends section 13 of the Principal Act to increase the quorum for Board meetings from 4 to 5.
Part 4 - Amendment of Act of 2009
Section 14 amends the functions of RTÉ as set out in section 114 of the Broadcasting Act of 2009 by replacing the previous function to manage orchestras and choirs with a function to manage a concert orchestra.