Belfast Telegraph

Classical Music 18/09/09

By RATHCOL

I wrote last week about the importance to the Ulster Orchestra Society of establishing a strong customer base.

Good management is also an essential. The society boasts a chequered management history over the four decades of its existence but it would be incontrovertible to state that since June 2002 the society has been well served indeed by the current chief executive, David Byers.

His safe pair of hands has guided the orchestra through the choppy waters of public funding rounds, through the changeable weather of public broadcasting, and through the endless, often thankless search for business sponsorship.

Byers (pictured) has tried to be innovative in his vision for the society — his foresight in the appointment of an associate composer in the form of Brian Irvine, for example, provided a new direction for the orchestra’s much-acclaimed education programme.

He has confirmed his intention to resign next September. The Ulster Orchestra Society will have a major challenge finding a successor as dedicated, as competent, as musically well informed and as committed as David Byers has proved himself to be.

phammond13@hotmail.com

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