Association of British Orchestras

ABO announces participants for 2022-23 ‘Find Your Way’ leadership programme with support from the ABO Trust

Find Your Way is a transformative professional development programme for senior and emerging managers, and musicians 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, which began in October 2022, is predicated on coaching-style leadership; the idea that opening up to our full potential is best done in a supportive, open-question dialogue. This is backed up with a wide connection to classical music sector leaders as mentors and presenters on the programme. We see leadership as including anyone with areas of responsibility and influence that involves others; some of our alumni have gone on to lead companies and others have happily expanded their capability to lead in their existing roles; some are managers and some are musicians, and some are both.

This year’s successful applicants are professionals representing different aspects of the orchestral sector:

George Lee, Programme Manager, Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, Britten Pears Arts

Hannah Barkley, Artistic Administration and Company Manager, Garsington Opera

Jordan Armstrong, Youth Company Manager, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Julia Roderick, Head of Community Engagement, Bristol Beacon

Laura Willis, Development Director, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Lowri Porter, Co-Leader of WNO orchestra, Welsh National Opera (Freelance from December 2022)

The CEO-level mentors for this year’s participants are:

David Burke, CEO, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Gavin Reid, CEO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Jenny Jamison, CEO, Scottish Ensemble

Lisa Tregale, Director, BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales

Simon Webb, Director, BBC Philharmonic (BBC Head of Orchestras and Choirs from January 2023)

Stephen Maddock, CEO, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Following the successful introduction of a Find Your Way ‘buddy’ for each participant on the programme, they are drawn from the programme Alumni to guide, sympathise, understand the challenges, and support the participants.

The ‘Buddies’ for 2022-23 are:

Doug Bott, Musical Director, OpenUp Music

Gordon Bragg, Sub-Principal second violin, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Helen Brew, Associate Principal Flute, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Helen Dunne, Head of Orchestra Administration, Royal Opera House

Matt Downes, Orchestra Manager, Welsh National Orchestra

Miriam Crozier, Marketing & Communications Manager, Ulster Orchestra

Now in its eighth year, Find Your Way continues to expand on the original mission to help develop flexible thinkers, capable of managing change, for a sector facing increasingly complex challenges.

Judith Webster, CEO of the Association of British Orchestras said: “The breadth of the orchestral sector and the challenges it faces needs a wide and varied cohort of courageous leaders; Find Your Way gives future leaders opportunities to reflect on their working practice, find their own way and use their insights to evolve the vibrant future that our ever-widening audiences deserve. Find Your Way offers a diverse and inspirational group of leaders the space and challenge to grow within a sector that is already reaping the benefits of this programme.”

Richard Wigley, visionary arts consultant, and former Managing Director, Ulster Orchestra, continues to guide the programme alongside the ABO’s Education consultant Fiona Harvey, and leadership trainer Andy Beaumont. The cohort will present a fresh thinking session at the ABO Conference to be held in Leeds in February 2023.

Applications for the Find Your Way residential course, which will take place on 23-25 February 2023, at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, are also now open. Applications close at noon, Friday 16 December. See more information and how to apply here.

Related information

Find out more about Find Your Way here.

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Bristol,
hosted by Bristol Beacon, from 24-26 January 2024.