Benefits of Membership

Membership of the Association of British Orchestras is open to all those organisations working within or to support the orchestral sector.  There are six categories for membership of the ABO listed below. 

FULL membership is open to professional orchestras and ensembles which have existed for not less than two years in the UK, and have undertaken no fewer than 24 public performances. The board of the ABO has agreed a set of shared values across the Full membership as follows.

We believe:

  • Our shared mission is to perform live music to the highest artistic standards for the widest possible audience.
  • In innovating, extending our reach, and growing our audiences;
  • That participation in music-making and music education are intrinsic to our organisation, helping nurture and make more diverse the next generation of music-makers;
  • In putting professionalism at the heart of our organisation, ensuring our musicians receive a professional rate of pay;
  • In investing in the skills, health and well-being of our staff and musicians
  • In looking after the investment in our organisation from public and private sources responsibly, with integrity and transparency;
  • In supporting the collective voice of our association

ASSOCIATE members include those who have not yet fulfilled the requirements of full membership, as well as conservatoires, music colleges, national youth orchestras and overseas orchestras.

AFFILIATE membership is open to those organisations involved with the presentation, support and commissioning of the work of the Association and its full members, such as funding agencies, broadcasters, festivals and venues.

CORPORATE membership is open to other interested parties and commercial organisations that support the work of the Association and its members. These include agents, suppliers, composers' organisations, businesses and sponsors.

SOLE TRADER membership is aimed at sole traders and consultants providing services to the orchestral sector, this offers the same levels of benefits as Corporate membership.

YOUTH ENSEMBLES membership is open to youth and student orchestras and other ensembles that work with young people up to the age of 21. Music conservatoires, national youth music organisations and orchestras and ensembles that offer professional development opportunities should apply for Associate membership.

INDIVIDUAL membership is by invitation only and is offered to former administrative staff of British orchestras who have left the profession or are working abroad and who wish to remain connected to the UK orchestral scene.

The ABO provides a range of services for members, including:

  • Public affairs and communications strategy for the sector
  • Memberships and links to national and international bodies
  • ABO/MU Casual Concert/Freelance Orchestral Agreement
  • Major industry events such as the Annual Conference with substantial discounts for members
  • Regular networking events, such as the various Specialist Managers Meetings
  • Professional development opportunities and Seminars
  • Monthly e-newsletter Update
  • Briefing events, factsheets and advice on current issues
  • Access to the members only area of our website
  • The ABO Insurance Scheme which offers preferential rates and 10% “no claims  rebate” on La Playa's Performing Arts Portfolio, a specialist policy for orchestras.
  • Free online jobs listing
Become a memberDownload the membership form here.Go there now