Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is hosting the annual conference of ABO at the Bournemouth International Centre.
The conference themed ‘disruption’ hosts talks on diversity of orchestras and audiences, and the effect of Brexit on classical music industry in the UK.
The ABO represents professional orchestras, youth ensembles and the wider classical music industry in the UK. The sixth annual ABO Rhinegold Awards will be presented on Thursday to the best orchestral, concert hall and artist managers.
According to ABO’s report from 2016, last year British orchestras toured to 42 different countries, most in Europe. There were 416 concerts outside the UK. The performers have been relying on easy crossing of borders within the EU, so Brexit will be likely to have an impact on touring in the future.
Mark Pemberton, the Director of ABO, spoke about how important diversity is; “Its been very healthy that we are talking about how classical music can better reflect the whole of the UK and its diverse communities. We want to reach and introduce classical musical to as broad a cross section of society as possible because that will be our future audience.”
However according to ABO, “Britain’s top orchestras reach more people despite 5% cut in income.” Pemberton realises the importance of reaching all audience’s.
“We don’t want to make us so pricey that only rich people come. we’ve been pushing ticket prices down to attract a young generation.”
Not only that, the age-old tradition of live performances is challenged by the growth of digital music industries – but new technologies offer fresh opportunities as well.
Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive, BSO says:
The disruption theme for this conference is a key driver of change in our sector. While some elements of what we do as an orchestra are timeless, and unchanging, the business model which underpins it has undergone radical transformation.”
BSO will be performing live tonight on BBC3 from 19.30 pm onwards, conducted by Kirill Karabitis – Chief Conductor of the BSO.