Orchestras Live plays a vital role in bringing excellent orchestral music to culturally under-served audiences and communities throughout England.
In 2015/16 we celebrated 50 years of delivering unique and high quality live orchestral music experiences to a vast range of communities across England.
Orchestras Live continues to develop the skills and expertise of our regional promoter partners in order that orchestral music can thrive in their areas. We have provided leadership and guidance on artistic programming, audience development, diversity and access, marketing, concert presentation, learning, participation, and fundraising, and ensured the sharing and dissemination of models of good practice across the network.
We have empowered partners to push the boundaries of orchestral work, including cross-genre / art form collaborations and new models of delivery. In Lincoln, Bridlington and Barrow, for example, we helped our partners develop programmes that adopted new styles of concert presentation, where the introduction of informal seating, refreshments and concert times linked to public transport alongside new concert formats, achieved very positive results in terms of audience retention and growth.
Without the creative energy, brokerage and advice that our team provides, very little orchestral activity would have taken place in the regions in which we operate and orchestras would not have had a critical mass of national promoters to tour to. In 2016/17, 90% of our partners reported that their relationship with us had a positive impact on their practice.
Orchestras Live actively promotes the creation of new orchestral repertoire, with 47% of concert programmes in 2016/17 featuring work by living composers. Through our relationships with a very wide range of promoters we achieve economies of scale, developing tours across England and enabling the best of British professional orchestras to reach the widest possible audience in a particularly cost effective way.
The confidence that comes from continued investment by Arts Council England in our work is matched by partnerships with a diverse range of national and regional trusts and foundations. And through collaboration with local partners we contributed to the infrastructure for orchestral activity, raising the ambition of local initiatives and stimulating greater local investment.
Our recent Strategic Touring award is enabling us to bring our new Sound Around orchestral tour to Sunderland, Northampton, Doncaster, Lowestoft, Reading and Carlisle, which will lead to a step-change in the ability of orchestras and venues to engage young people with additional needs, their schools and their families in orchestral music.