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Annual Conference 2019 - Belfast

Welcome to the 2019 ABO Conference.

Below you will find the timetable of sessions for each day. Click on the day to see an overview of times and sessions, then click through to the time slots to see session descriptions and speakers. All conference sessions take place in ICC Belfast.

Alternatively, click here to download the current version of our conference schedule. Please note that this is updated regularly.

N.B. The full conference place includes the Conference Dinner but not a ticket to the Conference Concert on Thursday 24 January in Waterfront Hall. This item must be purchased separately under 'individual items'.  All prices below exclude VAT. 

 

 

 

Wednesday 23 January

Registration and the official opening sessions of the ABO Conference 2019 take place at the ICC Belfast.

12:30 REGISTRATION AND SANDWICH LUNCH, (INCLUDING FIRST TIME DELEGATES)

14:00 OPENING SESSION

15:15 NETWORKING BREAK

15:45 OPENING PLENARY: CITY LIMITS in partnership with the British Council

19:00 PRE-DINNER RECEPTION (Titanic Belfast)

20:00 CONFERENCE DINNER, (including ABO Award and ABO/Rhinegold Awards presentation) 

OPENING SESSION

Welcome to delegates from Gavin Reid, Chair, ABO, Richard Wigley, Managing Director, Ulster Orchestra, Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE DL, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast

Keynote Speaker: Sean Rainbird, Director, National Gallery of Ireland
Performance by Čhavorenge childrens’ choir

OPENING PLENARY: CITY LIMITS in partnership with the British Council

Borders are not just national. There are borders within states and cities, between the city centre and the suburbs, urban and rural, rich and poor, left and right. As the world becomes more polarised, and ever more dominated by Brexit and Trump, what role can culture and orchestras play in crossing boundaries and forging social cohesion? And how can cities build on and benefit from existing cultural links? We look at three cities, Belfast, Bogota and Nashville, with unexpected connections and specific challenges, that have found their own solutions. Chaired by Cathy Graham, Director of Music, British Council and featuring María Claudia Parias, Presidenta Ejecutiva, Fundación Nacional Batuta, Professor Frank Lyons, Associate Dean of Research and Impact, Ulster University, Dr Katy Radford, Vice-Chair, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Project Manager and Senior Researcher, Institute for Conflict Research, and Steve Brosvik, Chief Operations Officer, Nashville Symphony.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will be held at Titanic Belfast and will include the presentation of the 2019 ABO Award and the ABO/Rhinegold Awards by Anne-Marie Minhall, presenter on Classic FM.

* Unless booking as part of the full conference there is an additional cost for this item (£55.00).
 

Thursday 24 January

09:00 REGISTRATION OPENS (ICC BELFAST)

09.30 PROVOCATIONS - CROSSING BORDERS

10:15 CROSS BORDER: THE BREXIT CHALLENGE sponsored by ISM
10:15 CROSS BORDER: EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION
10:15 CROSS BORDER: DESIGN AN ORCHESTRA

11:30 NETWORKING BREAK

12:00 CROSS BORDER: THE IRISH SCENE
12:00 CROSS BORDER: DIGITAL SCORES
12:00 CROSS BORDER: APPROACHES TO NEW MUSIC, NEW FORMATS, NEW AUDIENCES

13:15 LUNCH

14:15 CROSS BORDER: CITIES OF CULTURE
14:15 CROSS BORDER: CHANGEMAKERS
14.15 CROSS BORDER: CLASSICAL STREAMING

15:30 NETWORKING BREAK

16:00 CROSS BORDER: TECHNOLOGY
16:00 CROSS BORDER: YOUTH ORCHESTRAS
16:00 CROSS BORDER: COMMISSIONING
16.00 WORKSHOP: Musical Inclusion - being inclusive rather than doing inclusion

18:00 PRE-CONCERT RECEPTION sponsored by ISM

19:45 CONFERENCE CONCERT, WATERFRONT HALL

PROVOCATIONS - CROSSING BORDERS

We kick off the day with three provocations that will set the scene for our discussions on crossing borders, with musician Catherine Arlidge MBE, composer Brian Irvine and UK Disability Champion for Arts & Culture Andrew Miller.

CROSS BORDER: THE BREXIT CHALLENGE sponsored by ISM

With just two months to go to Brexit Day, we take stock of where are we are now. Deal or No Deal? Impending chaos, or business as usual? We take a close look at what it all means for the orchestral sector and the wider music industry. Chaired by Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, ISM, with Stephen Peover, Chair, Ulster Orchestra and former Permanent Secretary at Stormont, and Helen Sykes, Helen Sykes Artists' Management and Deputy Chair, IAMA.

CROSS BORDER: EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION

Continuing our diversity theme of the past two conferences, it’s time to catch up on how our colleagues in the USA are forging ahead with solutions. Chaired by broadcaster and journalist Brenda Emmanus, with Steve Brosvik, Chief Operations Officer, Nashville Symphony and John Kieser, Executive Vice President and Provost, New World Symphony.

CROSS BORDER: DESIGN AN ORCHESTRA!

If you were to build an orchestra from scratch, what would it look like? In a provocative and interactive session we’ll be re-thinking what an orchestra can and should be in the 21st century. If you could build one from scratch, without having to worry about money, what would it look like? Sophie Lewis and Catherine Arlidge from the National Children’s Orchestras, William Norris from Southbank Sinfonia and Matthew Swann from the City of London Sinfonia lead proceedings with their own radical visions, before throwing the floor open as we build an orchestra from scratch. How would you respond to changing markets, audiences, technology, and society? How do we ‘cross borders’ to involve new communities, audiences and art forms? What implications do the visions we come up with have for the current orchestral sector? Join us for a lively and perhaps controversial 75 minutes...

CROSS BORDER: THE IRISH SCENE

The orchestral sector in the Republic of Ireland is on the cusp of great change. We hear from key players in the decision to restructure its national orchestral provision, and what organisational change means for them, and look ahead to how the benefits will spread across the nation’s classical music scene. With former Director of BBC Radio Helen Boaden, Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, Managing Director, RTÉ's Orchestras, Allin Gray, Director, Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and Simon Taylor, Chief Executive, National Concert Hall, Dublin.

CROSS BORDER: DIGITAL SCORES

New technology is one key tool for crossing borders. In the first of a series of digitally-focused sessions this year, we look at developments in digital scores, and the creative and practical possibilities that can arise for both managers and musicians when we replace well-worn paper copies with digital equivalents. Chaired by Tommy Pearson, with Lorenzo Brewer, Chief Executive, nkoda, Jenny Jamison, Chief Executive and Joanne Green, musician, Scottish Ensemble, David Taylor, Director, Yorkshire Young Sinfonia and Christopher Widauer, Head of Digital Development, Wiener Staatsoper.

CROSS BORDER: APPROACHES TO NEW MUSIC, NEW FORMATS, NEW AUDIENCES

Just the words "orchestra" and "classical" can sound dusty, dreary and distant to many. Yet reaching a broader segment of your community and engaging new audiences is key to sustainability. Are we really utilising all the tools in our workshops to create fresh, compelling experiences for the diverse audiences of today, not only to hook them, but to keep them? Are we going about all of this intelligently and systematically? This interactive session, led by Jennifer Dautermann, Director, Classical Next and John Kieser, Executive Vice President and Provost, New World Symphony will review some of the tools at our disposal, lay out a basic work plan for designing, evaluating and optimising project strands and finally workshop the steps of how to draw into your concerts and events a new subgroup of your community.

CROSS BORDER: CHANGEMAKERS

At the ABO Conference in Bournemouth in 2017, delegates heard about BSO Resound and its ambitions to transform our sector’s approach to disability and create a disabled-led professional ensemble. Two years on, it’s time to catch up on its success and legacy, and discuss how best to embed inclusivity in our practice. Chaired by Andrew Miller, UK Disability Champion for Arts & Culture, with conductor James Rose, Lisa Tregale, Head of Participation, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Philip Flood, Chief Executive, Sound Connections.

CROSS BORDER: CLASSICAL STREAMING

Since the inception of music streaming, the recorded music industry has finally seen good news; we're making money again. Recorded music revenues have risen to the same levels last seen in 2008, and this year are forecast to hit new heights. However, there is a little problem. Classical music fans aren't keeping pace with other genres, and are yet to see similar increases in recorded revenue. In this session, led by James Fleury, Founder & Director, Nouvague, we'll explore how the opportunities presented by specialist classical streaming services could be the ticket classical music needs to join the industry's revenue party. With Becky Lees, Head of LSO Live, London Symphony Orchestra.

CROSS BORDER: CITIES OF CULTURE

Six years on from Derry’s celebrations as the first UK City of Culture, we take a look back at the legacy from Derry and Hull, and look forward to plans for Coventry 2021 and the UK’s National Festival in 2022. How do cities of culture help their citizens and visitors overcome barriers to cultural engagement? With Cian Smith, Producer, Belfast International Arts Festival and Martin Sutherland, Executive Director, Coventry 2021.

CROSS BORDER: VIDEO STREAMING

Live streaming of performances is becoming more common but is there a strong enough strategic and business case yet? In this session we’ll find out why orchestras are streaming, how they’ve engaged their players and audiences, and what new technologies might offer in future. Chaired by Matt Parkin, Head of Digital, Royal College of Music, with Millicent Jones, Executive Director, Audiences and Development, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Marc Geelhoed, Director of Digital Initiatives, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Christopher Widauer, Head of Digital Development, Wiener Staatsoper.

CROSS BORDER: YOUTH ORCHESTRAS

Youth orchestras nurture our talented young musicians, some of whom will enter the orchestral profession. Given the current challenges to music provision in schools, how can professional orchestras best support the talent pipeline? Are we providing enough opportunities for young musicians from diverse communities to progress, perform and be inspired by the orchestral world? Led by Judith Webster, CEO, Music for Youth, this session aims to explore how youth orchestras can cross boundaries and be better connected with each other and with professional orchestras, and look at how Music for Youth and the ABO can jointly develop opportunities and partnerships.

CROSS BORDER: COMMISSIONING

One of the frustrations for our sector is the barrier to cross-border commissioning and touring. We hear from key agencies who are taking steps to make the difference, and look at possible solutions. Chaired by Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS Foundation, with Evonne Ferguson, Director, Contemporary Music Centre, composer Brian Irvine and Deborah Keyser, Director, Ty Cerdd.

WORKSHOP: Musical Inclusion - being inclusive rather than doing inclusion

Inclusiveness is the extent to which an organisation has people from diverse backgrounds or communities involved as board members and staff; and the extent to which its activities provide opportunities for all adults, children and young people to take part on equal terms. This workshop, led by Philip Flood, Chief Executive, Sound Connections, explores the role of inclusion and presents examples of best practice from youth voice to governance. We will also look at some examples of orchestras and other organisations working in this way and discuss how this might support your own practice and future planning.

Conference Concert

WATERFRONT HALL MAIN AUDITORIUM

STRAUSS                Four Last Songs

SHOSTAKOVICH             Symphony No.4

Conductor               Rafael Payare

Soprano                 Dorothea Roschmann

Richard Strauss finished a prolific career as a writer of songs with four of the most sublime ever written, composed for his beloved soprano voice. Four Last Songs was completed the year before he died and tackles the subject of death with serenity and acceptance. The glorious lyricisim of the writing demands a singer of soaring radiance and in Dorothea Röschmann we welcome one of the great sopranos performing today. “…the intelligence and commitment of her performance elevate the poetry.” (Gramophone Magazine)

Shostakovich was midway through writing the Fourth Symphony when Pravda denounced him for the first time. He was under enormous pressure from the State to write a work that would restore his reputation, but the Fourth Symphony definitely did not fit the bill, so Shostakovich cancelled the première. Instead his Fifth Symphony was the work to restore his reputation – a work which, it could be argued, hid his criticism and mockery of Stalin with more subtlety.

Shostakovich’s Fourth is an enormous work on a huge scale. As part of the ABOs’ Annual Conference, the Ulster Orchestra is delighted to welcome other orchestral musicians from across Europe to create the huge force this work demands.

* There is an additional cost for this item (£20.00).
 

Friday 25 January

09:00 REGISTRATION OPENS

10:00 CROSS BORDER: MUSICIANS AS EDUCATORS in partnership with Orchestras Live
10:00 CROSS BORDER: FIND YOUR WAY

10:00 CROSS BORDER: THE OLDER MUSICIAN in partnership with Help Musicians UK
10:00 WORKSHOP: BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY

11:15 NETWORKING BREAK

11:45 CROSS BORDER: THE CONDUCTOR
11:45 CROSS BORDER: MUSICIANS WITHOUT BORDERS
11:45 CROSS BORDER: THE EUROPEAN ORCHESTRAL LABORATORY

13:00 LUNCH

14:00 CLOSING SESSION

15.30 CONFERENCE ENDS

CROSS BORDER: MUSICIANS AS EDUCATORS in partnership with Orchestras Live

How do orchestral musicians cross the invisible border to leave the platform and develop as creators, presenters, devisers, deliverers and music leaders? Co-conveners Sarah Derbyshire of Orchestras Live and Lucy Galliard of the CBSO kick off our key focus for the day on empowering the musician to cross borders. With Katherine Spencer, principal clarinet, City of London Sinfonia and Jane Wright, Sub-principal first violin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

 

CROSS BORDER: FIND YOUR WAY

Once again the latest cohort of the ABO’s Find Your Way programme take over a conference session, and give us their view on what our Cross Border theme means to the next generation of leaders in our sector.

CROSS BORDER: THE OLDER MUSICIAN in partnership with Help Musicians UK

In 2012, the ABO and Musicians’ Union launched their joint ‘Staying Happier for Longer’ Agenda, prompted by the UK Government’s abolition of the right of the employer to set a default retirement age. As many musicians never truly retire we look at what progress has been made in helping musicians thrive into older age. Chaired by Graham Sheffield CBE, Chair, Help Musicians UK.

WORKSHOP: BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY

Global bestseller, Blue Ocean Strategy (2005) took the business world by storm, showing how traditional industries could open up new market space, increase quality and push down costs. Paul MacAlindin, who is featured in the 2017 follow up, Blue Ocean Shift, guides you through some of the key models, showing how he applied it to The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. At the end of this taster session, you will have experienced Blue Ocean thinking and see clearly how you could apply it to your organization.

CROSS BORDER: THE CONDUCTOR

Conductors cross borders all the time. But however peripatetic their lifestyle, being music director of an orchestra provides stable ground. Join Rafael Payare, music director of the Ulster Orchestra for a conversation with BBC Northern Ireland presenter John Toal, as he looks back on his five years with the orchestra, before his imminent move to San Diego Symphony, and gives a conductor’s take on our cross-border discussions.

CROSS BORDER: MUSICIANS WITHOUT BORDERS

The life of the working musician goes well beyond classical. We hear from four musicians whose creativity is fuelled by working across musical genres, and for whom music has no borders. Chaired by Carol Main, Director, Live Music Now Scotland, with clarinettist Calum Robertson, composer Matthew Whiteside, and jazz drummer and composer David Lyttle.

CROSS BORDER: THE EUROPEAN ORCHESTRAL LABORATORY

Last year’s conference in Cardiff included a session on the opportunities that the Creative Europe programme offers for European collaboration. This year we look at one of its most important projects for our sector in a session led by Jonathan Simmance, a violist and animateur with the Ulster Orchestra. Starting from a shared vision of new ways of audience development and new business models, the seven partner orchestras of EO LAB II are developing and testing new concepts across the European orchestra sector. Using a key partnership with the Czech Phil and Roma choir Čhavorenge with its inspirational founder Ida Kelarová as a springboard, we’ll look at how to engage community ambassadors to help release the untapped energy of the individual musician.

CLOSING SESSION

Join us as we welcome keynote speaker Sir Roger Scruton, who will give us his perspective on the value of orchestral music,

Sir Roger Scruton is a philosopher, public commentator and author of over 40 books. He has specialised in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Music (1999) and Music as an Art (2018) in which he shows "we live at a critical time for classical music, and this book is an important contribution to the debate, of which we stand in need, concerning the place of music in Western civilization".

We will then wrap up the conference with the announcement of an exciting new partnership for the ABO, and look ahead to the 2020 Conference in Manchester.

 
 

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