CULTURE

New season sees fresh plans to boost the ERT Music Ensembles

The National Radio and Television (ERT) Music Ensembles are being restructured and are looking forward to a rosier future. At a recent press conference, Christos Panagopoulos, the president of ERT announced the program for the new season while talking about the changes that have taken place in recent months after discussions with the musicians and choir members. All the necessary moves have been made to give the employees permanent status as of March (at present, only 26 of the 221 employees of the music ensembles are permanent). «The musicians earned 800 euros a month and had to take second jobs,» said Panagopoulos. «Now they will earn enough money to make a decent living and will be able to dedicate themselves to ERT.» The money that was given to the ERT Music Ensembles this year was more than double that given to them last year, according to their director, Apostolis Bagias. Part of that money was spent on the restoration of studios, rehearsal halls and other venues, on the maintenance of the musical instruments (for the first time in 30 years) and on symbolic raises to employees’ salaries. A specially appointed committee undertook the ensembles’ agenda, so 90 concerts have been scheduled this year, almost double last year’s, most of which will be ERT productions. Live broadcasts of the concerts from the Third and Second programs of National Radio have already been arranged – the national television network will also screen recorded concerts. ERT is also planning to do something about the shortage of recordings of works by Greek composers with the release of about three albums a year.