Association of British Orchestras 2018 conference: collaboration, diversity, health and wellness

Posted on: January 30, 2018

“The Association of British Orchestras annual conference (January 24-26) [was] hosted by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, and Sinfonia Cymru,” writes Keith Clarke in Monday’s (1/29) (subscription required). “ ‘Collaboration’ was the event’s focus…. As the program book put it, ‘it’s timely to look at how collaboration today can fuel sustainability in an uncertain world.’ Brexit plays a large part in that uncertainty and hung over the conference…. Ethnic diversity was under the spotlight, with a presentation by Walter Bitner, direction of education and community engagement for the Nashville Symphony, outlining the orchestra’s Accelerando program of music education for under-represented communities…. Britten Sinfonia Managing Director James Murphy [noted] that of the 120 composers programmed by ABO member orchestras during January, only five were women. ‘How can that be justified?’ he asked, unveiling a bulging list of women composers from across the ages.… It was standing room only for a session on health and well-being that looked at what the music world might learn from sport…. In a session on diversifying audiences, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Managing Director William Norris said … the idea of ‘We play, you listen’ was past its sell-by date, he said, urging more audience involvement.”

Posted January 30, 2018