walton1_kirillkarabits210 January 2017, Bournemouth UK – The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) annual conference will be hosted by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) when it comes to Bournemouth for three days in January 2017.

The UK’s leading classical music forum will bring together delegates from across the orchestral sector to discuss the conference theme of Disruption, with sessions on Diversity, Digital and Brexit.

“We’re delighted the BSO has chosen Bournemouth International Centre for the first ABO conference in Bournemouth,” says BH Live Director of Venues and Events, Pat Coyne. “The orchestra is a favourite with audiences at Bournemouth Pavilion where they perform regularly throughout the year. We can promise conference delegates a warm welcome and plenty of opportunity to sample Bournemouth’s unique brand of hospitality and cultural attractions.”

Over 350 delegates drawn from orchestras around the world, along with funding agencies, venues, agents, publishers and suppliers, will explore what disruption means for the orchestral sector. What potential disruptors are there to influence the diversity of orchestras and audiences? How can new technology revolutionise the orchestral experience? Are there completely new business models to explore? Is politics the ultimate disruptor?

“The disruption theme for this conference is a key driver of change in our sector,” says BSO Chief Executive Dougie Scarfe. “While some elements of what we do as an orchestra are timeless, and unchanging, the business model which underpins it has undergone radical transformation.”

A thought-provoking programme of informative sessions, led by expert guest speakers, will provide delegates with insight and plenty of opportunity for discussion. The BSO will be represented by Dougie Scarfe, who will be talking to Jeff Mostyn, Chairman of AFC Bournemouth to explore what the orchestral sector can learn from sport. The BSO’s Head of Participation, Lisa Tregale, will examine the impact of funding changes in music education and also focus on the diversity challenge facing orchestras, following the call-to-action at last year’s conference by former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is uniquely placed to host this discussion, as the only UK orchestra to have received Arts Council Change Makers funding for a bursary to support the career development mentorship of conductor James Rose. It is the only disability-led music project in the country to receive such funding. A core part of the BSO’s mission is to be accessible to as many people as possible and transform lives using music, through the Orchestra’s vibrant Participation and Learning programme, BSO Participate. BSO will spend 18 months mentoring James, giving him the opportunity to create, curate and direct a disabled-led ensemble. James will conduct the ensemble at inspiring performances and workshops throughout the region involving young people and adults with and without disabilities.

Delegates are also being invited to attend a dinner at the BSO’s home, Lighthouse – Poole’s Centre for the Arts, before enjoying a concert featuring Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov and conducted by Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits. In an interview with Classic FM presenter Anne-Marie Minhall, Kirill will be asked how the BSO is working to broaden its reach, relevance and repertoire.

The 2017 Conference will be held at Bournemouth International Centre from 25-27 January 2017.

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