2 Feb 2018

RNZ Concert: 2018

From Upbeat, 3:00 pm on 2 February 2018

We’re starting some new things which we hope will delight our audiences.

RNZ Concert's David Morriss and Eva Radich

RNZ Concert's David Morriss and Eva Radich Photo: RNZ / Clarissa Dunn

New Zealand’s unique fine music network RNZ Concert showcases music and composition by featuring live music performances and providing related news and current affairs, on-air and online. We cover classical, jazz, opera, film, folk and world music, and related arts including ballet, theatre and festivals from a New Zealand perspective, as well as broadcasting radio programmes from overseas.

As a publicly funded media outlet guided by the Radio New Zealand Charter, RNZ Concert’s role is to entertain and inform a broad range of New Zealanders, and to support and reflect the evolution of New Zealand’s music and arts culture and communities.

Like all businesses we must also make the best use of our resources to be efficient and effective.

RNZ is evolving into a multimedia organisation to meet rapidly changing media, technology and audience expectations.  RNZ Concert must also evolve to remain relevant and to achieve our purpose for New Zealanders. These truths, along with improving technology, present us with a long-awaited opportunity to revise and improve RNZ Concert’s offering.

Starting this month we’re going to build on to what is working and try some new things which we hope will delight our audiences. We will see what works best for us, our audiences and partners, and continue to refine RNZ Concert’s services.

Our intention and belief is that these changes will deliver a warmer, more engaging and interesting music and arts experience to a wider range of New Zealanders.


RNZ Concert broadcast studio

RNZ Concert broadcast studio Photo: Clarissa Dunn

We’re refreshing RNZ Concert’s on-air schedule, focusing on the times of day which are important to our listeners. Presenters will be better supported to deliver warm, engaging programming. There will be some new programmes and presenters, and changes for some familiar ones. These programmes are designed to meet listeners where they are in their day, and to serve a variety of tastes.


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Photo: RNZ

RNZ Concert’s online profile has been increasing steadily over the past few years, allowing us to reach younger and more diverse New Zealanders. Many of our music and arts organisation partners are also now offering multi-media experiences that we can collaborate with and support. The changes we are undertaking will allow us to better serve these new audiences, as well as our loyal radio listeners, so that more New Zealanders can enjoy music and arts experiences.

Uniquely Aotearoa

Settling the Score hosts Carol Hirschfeld and Clarissa Dunn from RNZ.

Settling the Score hosts Carol Hirschfeld and Clarissa Dunn from RNZ Photo: APO/Tiana Lyes

The most important work we do at RNZ Concert is to document and share New Zealand performance and composition, giving the music community a place and a voice for their work. We are the pre-eminent live music media organisation in the country, recording and transmitting hundreds of live music performances each year, and providing substantial coverage of music and arts events. We want more New Zealanders to experience and enjoy this unique programming.

Upbeat 12-3 pm, Monday - Friday 

The first, and perhaps biggest change is to Upbeat, RNZ Concert’s weekday music news and current affairs programme, which has been hosted for the past eleven years by Eva Radich.

RNZ Concert's David Morriss and Eva Radich

RNZ Concert's David Morriss and Eva Radich Photo: RNZ / Clarissa Dunn

From Monday 26th February, Upbeat will grow to three hours, (12-3pm), with a familiar voice, David Morriss, as host. New Zealand-focused music and arts stories remain at the core of the programme, which will now interweave topical music, new releases, reviews and other features across three hours each weekday. This change will give us greater flexibility to cover music and arts stories in the most effective way for our radio and online audiences.

Respected host Eva Radich steps into a new editorial role as RNZ Concert’s Content team leader, while also contributing interviews and features to Upbeat. Radich is excited to help shape the direction of RNZ Concert’s music and arts current affairs and live music presentations, as well as further develop RNZ Concert’s relationships with arts organisations around New Zealand. She will still be at the “heart of the arts” she is quick to point out, but taking a high level view to serving audiences on-air and online.

Upbeat also gains a Music Producer with experienced RNZ Concert Scheduler Robyn Jaquiery joining the team.

Upbeat Producer/Reporter Zoe George will continue to develop and produce multimedia music and arts current affairs stories for radio and online, and others in the RNZ Music team will also contribute.

RNZ Concert Schedule refresh

There will be further changes to the RNZ Concert schedule at the end of February which we will describe separately, but it is important to note that all of these changes are being made in collaboration and with the agreement of RNZ Concert staff, and without the loss of any positions.

These decisions are based on extensive audience research RNZ has undertaken, and were made in collaboration with our staff and in consultation with other broadcasters. It also reflects successful international practice for classical music radio

We believe that RNZ Concert can do a better job and reach new music lovers. We are excited by this opportunity, and hope you will join us.

Liisa McMillan, RNZ Music Manager, and David Houston, RNZ Concert Programmer

RNZ Concert Producer David McCaw

RNZ Concert Producer Photo: Clarissa Dunn