Association of British Orchestras

Thorben Dittes

Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme,
Sage Gateshead

Thorben Dittes is responsible for Royal Northern Sinfonia and the classical music programme at Sage Gateshead since 2014. Under his stewardship the work of the orchestra has broadened significantly, including establishing and growing a regional chamber performance programme and securing international touring opportunities to 12 countries, as well as increasing the orchestra’s community and learning work. Thorben has also developed partnerships with organisations such as Streetwise Opera and Candoco Dance Company, thereby establishing new models of working for a chamber orchestra.

Previously, Thorben was Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble 2010-2014, with overall responsibility for the management of the organisation. His significant achievements for the Ensemble include development and delivery of a new strategic focus on cross-artform and cross-genre collaborative projects, increased international touring, as well as conceptualization of the innovative residency programme of regional work, combining on- and off-platform activity in cities across Scotland.

From 2008–2010 he was Artistic Planning & Projects Manager for Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra Ltd, working with Sir John Eliot Gardiner for the Monteverdi Choir and its associated orchestras, with a particular focus on international touring. He previously held positions at the Musicians Benevolent Fund, Association of British Orchestras, Royal Over-Seas League Arts, and British Youth Opera.

Thorben grew up in Germany and studied Arts Management at London South Bank University. He is a Director for the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH) and on the membership committee for the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). He has been an assessor for PRS for Music Foundations and served on juries for ECHO European Concert Halls Organisations, Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal Over-Seas League. Creative Scotland selected Thorben for a three-year legacy fellowship with the International Society for the Performing Arts in 2012.

Annual Conference

The ABO conference will be held online from 10-12 March 2021.