PROTECT AND SURVIVE
MIKE WHEELER was at
the Annual Conference of the
Association of British Orchestras
With its strapline -- 'Protect and Survive' -- and logo -- a small oak sapling encircled by a lifebelt -- there was no doubt about the main agenda for this year's Association of British Orchestras Annual Conference (Assembly Rooms, Derby, UK, 16-18 February, 2011): how can the orchestral sector best respond to the current economic climate, dominated as it is by stringent cuts in government funding for the arts?
ABO chairman Simon Taylor's welcome was followed by Darren Henley, Managing Director of Classic FM, who cited the station's recent listening figures as an assertion that the death-knell of classical music was wrong. Peter Helps, chief executive of this year's host orchestra -- Derby-based Sinfonia ViVA -- put the question: how are orchestras to face the new situation of cuts in arts funding, and introduced what would emerge as an additional theme of the conference, that of partnerships.
Helen Bishop, Head of Community Relations at Rolls-Royce, gave an introduction to the firm's partnership with Sinfonia ViVA, in terms of support for the orchestra's concerts and education work, and ViVA's support for Rolls Royce events and employee development.
The keynote speech was delivered by Philip Blond, whose ideas have been a major influence on the UK government's 'Big Society' agenda...
Copyright © 28 February 2011 Mike Wheeler,