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‘Aftershock’ is the theme of the Association of British Orchestras conference this week

Covid recovery, Brexit and inequity are the major issues covered as the British classical music industry joins the 2021 Association of British Orchestras from 10-12 March

Hosted in partnership with Classic FM, Help Musicians, Classical Music and the British Council, featured speakers at the ABO conference include Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England (ACE) and the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dineage.

The three-day, online forum offers an opportunity for delegates from the UK and beyond to discuss the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the Black Lives Matter movement on orchestral music and to seek solutions arising from them.

Sir Nicholas Serota presents his vision for ACE’s 10-year Let’s Create strategy for rebuilding the arts sector as part of a comprehensive programme of discussions by major industry figures. These include Kathryn McDowell CBE, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, Alan Davey CBE, Controller of BBC Radio 3, Angélica Negrón and Matías Tarnopolsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Orchestra and Crispin Woodhead, Chief Executive of the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment.

A special panel led by Sarah Derbyshire MBE, Chief Executive of Orchestras Live and Matthew Swann, Chief Executive of the City of London Sinfonia, discusses the findings of ABO’s recently published ‘Orchestras in Healthcare’ report. Representatives of NHS trusts and commissioning group take the opportunity to explore the role of orchestras in social prescribing.

The British Council hosts networking meetings for delegates throughout the three days and has funded attendance for delegates from developing countries.

One of the highlights of the event is the announcement of this years’ recipients of the ABO/Classical Music Awards. Classic FM presenter Margherita Taylor will announce the awards, which champion those behind the scenes who have kept orchestral music alive during the year of the pandemic.