Association of British Orchestras

The ABO represents the collective interests of professional orchestras, youth ensembles and the wider classical music industry throughout the UK.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - Monday 18 October

Our latest communication to members was sent out on Monday 18 October. If you did not receive this, a copy can be found in the Advice and Factsheets section of the Members Area along with other resources that members may find useful during this time.

Black Lives Matter

The ABO stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and against all forms of discrimination, injustice and inequality. We recognise the lack of diversity in UK orchestras and, working hand in hand with Arts Council England’s Diversity in Classical Music project, acknowledge the enormous amount of work which needs to be done. We believe fundamentally in supporting and promoting positive, meaningful change in our industry, society and the wider world. We pledge to be more attentive, to do better and to foster a space where everyone is both seen and heard. In doing so we strive for an orchestral sector that is without fear of prejudice or exclusion and that is fully inclusive, representative and reflective of the communities that we serve.

News and press

ABO announces participants for the 2021-22 Find Your Way Leadership Programme

Today (Thursday 21 October 2021), the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) is delighted to announce the new participants on its Find Your Way professional development course for 2021-22, with support from Help Musicians, The Vernon Ellis Foundation and the ABO Trust. Find Your Way is a transformative professional development leadership programme for senior and emerging managers in orchestras and classical music organisations who aspire to leadership. It offers participants to look boldly to the future, to examine, broaden and improve on current practice for the long-term benefit of the sector. The 9-month programme, starting in October 2021, offers professional development based around a tailored ‘Individual Development Plan’ co-developed with an experienced coach.

ABO Announces Fifth Year of ‘Sirens’ Grants to Promote Music of Historical Women

Today (Wednesday 13 October 2021), the ABO has announced the fifth round of grants from the Sirens Fund awarded to orchestras performing music by historic women composers from around the world. This year, funds have been awarded to six orchestras – The Hallé, Nevis Ensemble, Royal College of Music, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, National Orchestra for All and Ulster Orchestra. The composers championed through these grant-winning organisations include Florence Price, Grace Williams, Mary Lou Williams, Grażyna Bacewicz and Augusta Holmés.

ABO and Symphony Services Australia launch online orchestral symposium

The Association of British Orchestras and Symphony Services Australia held an online orchestral symposium, Orchestral Connections, specially for members of these organisations. Comprising four webinars, these sessions featured speakers from both the UK and Australia, and panels focused on the new landscape for orchestras post-COVID. Orchestral Connections was supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons, the British Council, the Australian Government and Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

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Specialist managers meetings

SMMs are one of the ABO’s key services that are most valued by members.
Each group of managers meets twice a year to discuss topical issues and hear from pertinent speakers.

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