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Recent correspondence questions the cost of £4.5m to run the Ulster Orchestra.

Recent correspondence has questioned the cost of £4.5m to run the Ulster Orchestra.

When one compares the cost of running the Ulster Orchestra with the world-famous Wiener Philharmoniker, it is chicken feed.

The Wiener Philharmoniker receives massive state subsidy. Income from ticket sales would not be sufficient - no orchestra can survive without state support.

Ticket prices are quite low. A ticket for Wiener Philharmoniker, for example, typically costs anything between €120-170 (£95-£135) if you are not a member of Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, or do not subscribe.

This problem of the Ulster Orchestra has been highlighted by the music correspondent of Private Eye, Lunchtime O'Boulez, who pointed out the odd way Northern Ireland seems to have of providing funding for politically expedient things. But anything considered remotely "high-brow", or non-sectarian, is of no interest to our tribal politicians.

ROBERT ANDREWS

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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