Association of British Orchestras

ABO responds to BBC decision to suspend BBC Singers closure

The Association of British Orchestras has welcomed the BBC’s decision to suspend the proposal to close the celebrated BBC Singers.

Meaningful consultation will be critical for the BBC as it explores alternative sustainable options to secure the future of the ensemble and to avoid the reduction of salaried orchestral posts across the BBC’s English Orchestras.

The overwhelming public response to the BBC’s initial announcement demonstrates the impact and value of classical music. The UK’s orchestras are beloved by millions across the country and internationally. They touch the hearts of people of all ages and backgrounds through cutting edge artistic programming and powerful performances, and make a direct impact on the communities they serve through much valued education and health programmes. UK orchestras reach audiences of over 4 million through over 3,600 concerts and performances per year across the country and recent research shows that more people are listening to orchestral music today as part of their daily lives than was the case just 5 years ago.

As the biggest commissioner of music and one of the biggest employers of musicians in the country, the BBC has a vital role to play in the future of our orchestral and cultural sector for the long term. Sustained investment and support for the sector will ensure the BBC’s pivotal role and reach continues to stand as a linchpin of the thriving UK cultural sector, generating, as it does, life-changing musical opportunities for everyone, the development of future talent, and the creation of astounding new music.

Annual Conference

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