Association of British Orchestras

News & Press

ABO announces Simon Webb as new Chair

Director of the BBC Philharmonic, Simon Webb, has been elected as the new Chair of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO). He succeeds Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Nominations open for 2021 ABO/Classical Music peer recognition awards

Nominations for the annual ABO/Classical Music industry awards are now open until Friday 22 January 2021, inviting managers in the orchestral sector to celebrate the achievements of colleagues across orchestras, concert halls and artist management during what has been a challenging year for the UK’s orchestras and their musicians. For further information on how to submit nominations, click here.

ABO opens applications for Sirens Fund grants

Applications have opened for the ABO’s latest round of grants from its Sirens Fund which offers UK orchestras with financial support for projects to raise the awareness and appreciation of music written by historic women composers from around the world.

ABO and MU highlight lack of financial support for freelance musicians

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Musicians’ Union (MU) have joined forces to express their deep concern about the lack of support for self-employed musicians during the Covid-19 outbreak.

RPS/ABO Salomon Prize 2020

Jane Mitchell wins the RPS ABO Salomon Prize

A Manifesto for Recovery - COVID-19 and the UK’s Orchestras - Updated 1 October

The ABO has produced a set of key messages on the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s orchestras, our asks of national governments, and how we will generate a return on their investment.


Following publication by the UK Government of its new immigration and border controls from 1 January 2021, the ABO has updated its factsheet, outlining what these changes will mean for ABO members.


The ABO hugely welcomes the announcement of the government’s significant additional investment in the arts. Orchestras and their musicians have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 crisis, from the cancellation of tours to Asia in January, followed by the enforced shutdown of concert halls across the UK in March. With a year of lost income in prospect, this much-needed investment, and the guidance for reopening, will help get orchestras back to work, starting behind closed doors this summer, and on to the point when we can welcome audiences both here and abroad, we hope, later this year. See announcement from the DCMS including response from the ABO Director here.

Related information

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View the ABO Bulletins

Annual Conference

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