The ordinance published in the Diário da Républica states that the remaining balance from the previous year may be added to the amount for 2025. The ordinance was signed on 30 November last year by the Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva, and only on 5 February by the Secretary of the Budget State, Sofia Batalha.

At the end of November, the Council of Ministers approved the change to the statute of regional orchestras and the definition of “conditions for the granting of incentives by the State”, through the General Directorate of Arts (DGArtes). The document was promulgated by the President of the Republic at the end of December.

“This diploma defines the rules applicable to competitions for the award of regional orchestra status, reinforcing the recognition of their role in disseminating classical music throughout the territories and communities in which they operate, as cultural and social agents, promoting development and qualification at local and national level”, can be read on the DGArtes page.

The decree-law that changed the statute predicts that “after a first four-year cycle of support between 2018 and 2021 and the successive renewal, for a period of one year, in 2022 and 2023, of the status of the regional orchestra to the Orquestra do Norte, in the North region, the Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, in the Centre region, and the Orquestra Clássica do Sul, in the Algarve region, [if] necessary to make the regime for attributing the aforementioned status more demanding and, on the other hand, ensure that the municipalities in the region in which the orchestras are inserted contribute, effectively, to the activities of the orchestras.”

In this way, the status of regional orchestra can now be granted only “by competition or limited competition, in order to make obtaining the status of regional orchestra more demanding; and is granted for a maximum horizon of four years.”

“In the same way, it is intended to enable the opening of competitions for this purpose in regions where there are not yet entities with the status of regional orchestra, being evaluated, in the same way, the artistic dimensions and viability of the project, being required the presentation of evidence regarding its sustainability. This possibility will cover not only the Alentejo region, but also the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, under the terms of political-administrative autonomy”, added the Government, in the decree-law published in January.