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Ulster Orchestra says digital performances are here to stay

Richard Wigley has tried to keep as many musicians in work as possible during the pandemic.

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Digital performances are here to stay, the managing director of the Ulster Orchestra said (Niall Carson/PA).

Digital performances are here to stay, the managing director of the Ulster Orchestra said (Niall Carson/PA).

Digital performances are here to stay, the managing director of the Ulster Orchestra said (Niall Carson/PA).

Digital performances are here to stay, the managing director of the Ulster Orchestra has said.

Richard Wigley has tried to keep as many musicians in work as possible during the pandemic, and performing without audiences has become the norm.

During the summer the orchestra recorded a series of concerts in the Waterfront Hall for later transmission on BBC Radio 3.

Mr Wigley told Stormont’s Communities Committee: “The plan for us is to have a hybrid way of working so that live performances come from the Guildhall in Derry or Ulster Hall in Belfast, that they are filmed and could be replayed.

“Digital is here to stay.”

The Ulster Orchestra has been on the brink of closing in the past over funding cuts.

The only full-time professional orchestra in Northern Ireland was founded in 1966.

It plays the majority of its concerts in Belfast’s Ulster Hall and the Waterfront Hall, but is not expected to begin performing again until next year, the Arts Council has said.

Mr Wigley said some other orchestras had decided to put their musicians into deep freeze but his decided the more they could keep working the better.

“We have tried to do the maximum.”

PA


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