Orchestras Live 50th Anniversary
“Especially in the light of the vigorous debate about cultural provision outside London, the value of Orchestras Live in helping orchestras reach further, both geographically and demographically, is indisputable and well worth celebrating.” Kimon Daltas, Editor, Classical Music, March 2015
Orchestras Live, in its current form, launched in 2007 with the mission to inspire, motivate and empower the widest range of people through excellent live orchestral music. In 2013/14, we delivered 132 concerts/residencies and 500 workshops across 55 projects, working with 25 professional orchestras and 60 local partners, reaching almost 54,000 people across 7 English regions.
We prioritise areas of low orchestral provision, working where cultural investment is most needed. Whether we are giving disadvantaged young people an inspiring first-time experience of live orchestral music, or bringing newly commissioned orchestral work to more people in more places, as well as investing in local skills and infrastructure so that orchestral music can continue to thrive, our work has a profound effect on our audiences, many of whom will be experiencing the thrilling power of a live orchestra for the first time.
Orchestras Live is the third incarnation of an organisation dedicated to taking excellent live orchestral music to under-served parts of England. The Eastern Authorities Orchestral Association – a membership organisation for local authorities in the East and East Midlands – was created in 1965, addressing the inequality of orchestral provision in those regions. In 1986 we became the Eastern Orchestral Board with a wider and increasingly proactive role including education activities, audience development, commissioning and cross-cultural initiatives, and in 2005 this also included enabling chamber orchestras to be heard in more remote and rural areas across the country. In 2007 we became Orchestras Live to reflect our expanded remit and national status.
The need for our work is still great, and our mission remains to give the widest range of people inspirational experiences of live orchestral music in places where it would otherwise not take place. We are grateful to all our supporters and partners in helping us to achieve so much over the past 50 years, especially Arts Council England. Our new Business Plan for 2015-18 will see us take orchestral projects and concerts to tens of thousands of people, regardless of their location, age or background each year. We will continue to lead, innovate and influence the orchestral sector, and look forward to delivering an ambitious plan of activity over the next three years and beyond.