The United Kingdom is blessed with any number of top-flight orchestras – the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, umpteen BBC orchestras, and specialist groups like Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. But among connoisseurs, there's one group that has often batted above its league: The Ulster Orchestra. Considered one of the jewels in Northern Ireland's cultural crown, it was founded in 1966 and has since released nearly 100 recordings and worked under many respected conductors, including JoAnn Falletta, Sergiu Commissiona and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Now comes word that the Ulster Orchestra faces bankruptcy and possible shutdown by the end of the year due to a funding crisis. For some perspective on this, host Naomi Lewin speaks with Oliver Condy, the editor of BBC Music Magazine. "It beggars belief," said Condy. "I can't quite understand how an orchestra can go from operating at full tilt to being told it's going to be offered 28 percent cut in its public funding."Condy describes how the Ulster Orchestra has been the ultimate "show-must-go-on ensemble," having played for years against a backdrop of social unrest in Northern Ireland. "This is an orchestra that played every single concert during the Troubles of the 1970s and '80s when all of Northern Ireland was threatened with bombings either from the IRA or loyalist groups," said Condy. "The Ulster Orchestra's offices were threatened daily with bombings."The Ulster Orchestra has also championed many lesser-known composers including the works of the Classical Czech Jan Ladislav Dussek (WQXR's Album of the Week), and a number of British composers like Arthur Bliss, Frank Bridge and Arnold Bax. Condy notes that the ensemble recently began an "exciting new chapter" under a new music director, Venezuelan Rafael Payare.But perhaps what's most surprising is why there hasn't been more outcry among the Ulster public. To find out why, listen to the full segment at the top of this page.