ABO Award 2016 - Sally Groves

The Association of British Orchestras has presented the 2016 ABO Award to Sally Groves MBE at a ceremony at the ABO Conference in Birmingham. The ABO Award is presented annually to the individual or institution considered by the membership to have made the most important contribution to the orchestral life of the UK.

Kathryn McDowell CBE, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chair of the ABO said: "Behind every great composer is a great publisher, and few have made a greater contribution to nurturing the relationship between composers and orchestras than Sally Groves. In these challenging times, the ABO board felt it was more important than ever to celebrate our members' commitment to new music, giving composers a platform for their work and the audiences the opportunity to embrace the sounds of today."

 Sally Groves MBE said “Our orchestras and ensembles are at the heart of the UK's cultural life, their creative energy and educational programmes playing a vital role in widening audiences and encouraging participation at every level. I am honoured to accept the ABO Award this year.”

The full citation reads as follows:

Since joining Schott Music in 1974 through to her retirement from the firm in 2014, Sally Groves has built a reputation as one of the UK's most dedicated and persuasive advocates for new music. Her work for British composers such as Sir Michael Tippett, Alexander Goehr, Gavin Bryars, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Steve Martland, as well as European figures such as György Ligeti and Hans-Werner Henze, has left an enormous musical legacy in this country.

Sally has worked closely with orchestras across the UK, building and nurturing their collaborations with composers. Particularly notable projects include the UK premieres of Michael Tippett's late masterpieces "The Mask of Time" and "The Rose Lake" with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra respectively, Mark-Anthony Turnage's time as Composer in Association with the CBSO from 1989-1993 (resulting in the premieres of several of this composer's key works under Sir Simon Rattle), and "The Ligeti Project" with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1998. More recent highlights have included the signing to Schott of composer and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, now Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra as well as Composer in Residence with English National Opera.

It is a mark of the esteem in which Sally is held in the British orchestral world that she was appointed a Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Board of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and a member of the Royal Northern Sinfonia's advisory panel. Sally has also dedicated her own time to numerous trusts and charities, always looking to find ways to support new music of the highest quality. In 2013 Sally received the Royal Philharmonic Society's Leslie Boosey Award, and in 2015 was awarded the MBE for services to music.

The award was presented to Sally Groves at the ABO Awards dinner by Margherita Taylor, Classic FM presenter, alongside the ABO/Rhinegold Awards which went to Sarah Alexander, Chief Executive, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (Orchestra Manager of the Year), Angela Dixon, Chief Executive, Saffron Hall (Concert Hall Manager of the Year) and Alasdair Tait, Chief Executive, Young Classical Artists Trust (Artist Manager of the Year).



For more information please contact:

Claire Willis, Eleven Tenths PR on 07951 600362 or at claire.willis@eleventenths.co.uk

 Notes to Editors: 


Founded in 1947, the Association of British Orchestras is the national body representing the collective interests of professional and youth orchestras throughout the UK. The ABO's mission is to enable and support a vibrant, innovative, collaborative and sustainable orchestral sector. www.abo.org.uk.

Previous ABO Award Winners:

2015    Sir Mark Elder
2014    Sir Vernon Ellis
2013    Royal Philharmonic Society
2012    James MacMillan CBE
2011    David Takeno
2010    Sir Colin Davis
2010    Special posthumous Award to Vernon Handley CBE
2009    Sir Neville Marriner
2008    Sir Nicholas Kenyon
2007    David Richardson
2006    Roger Wright, BBC Radio 3
2005    Oliver Knussen
2004    Bernard Haitink KBE
2003    Special ABO Award to Libby MacNamara
2003    John Wallace
2002    Sir Charles Mackerras
2001    Edward Smith
2000    Gillian Moore MBE
1999    Richard Hickox
1998    BBC Radio 3
1997    Sir Michael Tippett
1996    Bill Relton
1995    Classic FM
1994    Sir John Drummond
1993    Sir Simon Rattle
1992    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies