The former editor of The Scottish Sun is understood to be in contention for a place on the board of the RNSO. The appointment is set to be ratified by an RNSO board meeting on 3 October, and is understood to be made as part of the orchestra's desire for a more aggressive marketing push.
Irvine, who studied the violin during his twenties and thirties, and has worked as a session musician, refused to confirm or deny the RNSO speculation.
He is understood to feel that his appointment would not be universally welcomed by the Scottish artistic community - since he played a key role in the controversial campaign to prevent the repeal of the Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
But some senior arts figures have been quoted as saying Irvine's experience and robust style would help make the orchestra's marketing strategy more dynamic. Scottish National Party culture spokesman Mike Russell was quoted in Scotland on Sunday as welcoming Irvine's imminent appointment, saying: 'The more people we have with an aggressive approach to marketing, the happier I am.'
RNSO press officer Daniel Pollitt said new board appointments would be made next month but refused to confirm that Irvine was in the frame for a position. He said he was unable to comment as it was still not certain which candidates would be approved.