Managers and producers of EBU Members' performing ensembles have met in Athens (22 - 23 March) in order to optimize their contribution, network and learn from each other. It was the first EBU meeting to be held by ERT since the broadcaster was re-established in 2015.
Over 50 orchestras and choirs are directly employed by EBU Members. This is both a challenge, since it may seem removed from the core activity of broadcasting, but it also represents an opportunity to fulfill the mission of making a distinctive contribution to society.
The meeting in Athens provided an opportunity to emphasize the role of the performing ensembles in a fast-changing media world.
In common with public media itself, the groups share the vision to make the world of music accessible to the widest possible public, and the seminar heard many case studies which exemplified this dedication. From splitting the orchestra into small groups for small performances, to experiments with real-time programme information on phones and encouraging new and emerging talent, many examples were shared throughout the two-day conference.
Their distinctive contribution in supporting the work of the broadcaster can be seen in terms of outreach, encouraging younger musicians, providing rights-free material for online usage, and acting as ambassador on a national level. All these elements have one thing in common, namely ensuring that the whole population has the chance to have their lives enriched and changed by music. Harnessing the broadcasters’ understanding of audiences with possibility of engaging a mass audience, means that such ensembles can have a powerful effect.
In its current Work Plan, the EBU Radio Committee has commissioned two areas of research into ensembles, namely understanding how they can best align with the needs of broadcast channels, and also defining the features which make broadcasting orchestras different from those in the commercial sector. Research work, based on the conference discussions and presentations, will be made available to Members later this year.