The ABO helps develop the skills and knowledge of our members’ staff, including providing and signposting to high quality professional development opportunities for all tiers of management and musicians.

The ABO offers a full and diverse package of training courses in partnership with UK Theatre, and brokers mentoring opportunities by request. The annual conference, specialist managers meetings and occasional seminars also provide opportunities for members’ staff to expand their knowledge and develop their skills.

The ABO works in partnership with other organisations, including the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, The Audience Agency and the Clore Leadership Programme, to provide training opportunities for and expand the knowledge base of its members’ staff.

The ABO aims to develop better working relations between manager and musician through its Staying Happier For Longer programme, promote best practice in health and well-being through its Healthy Orchestra programme, and encourage more sustainable practice through the Green Charter developed in association with industry lead body Julie’s Bicycle.

The ABO also aims to increase the amount and range of high quality family friendly performances, increase the quality of experience, and improve marketing to build and develop family audiences through its participation in the Family Arts Campaign.

The ABO takes an interest in nurturing the next generation of orchestra management and leadership through providing careers advice and its Find Your Way programme.

In this section

  • Courses and Seminars

    The ABO run courses twice a year in finance, fundraising and marketing and courses once a year in HR and working with Creative People. ABO Members can also access UK Theatre training programmes.

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  • Advice and Factsheets

    Advice and Factsheets


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  • Publications

    The following is a list of the ABO's publications.

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  • Sirens


    Applications are now open for the third year of Sirens Funding.

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  • Find Your Way 2019-20 / Leadership for Musicians

    An annual programme of sector-specific mentoring and placements for senior and emerging managers in ABO member organisations. Applications are now open for the 2019 Residential Course, with a deadline of 12 noon Monday 21 January 2019.

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  • Resonate


    The ABO and PRS Foundation have launched Resonate, a new fund and resource which encourages professional orchestras to programme into their repertoire the best pieces of British music from the past 25 years.

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  • Dignity at Work

    The ABO believes that the orchestral sector should be a safe, supportive and inclusive working environment, and that it is in all our best interests to prevent and tackle bullying, harassment and abuses of power.

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  • Noise at Work

    Noise at Work

    The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006, with the music and entertainment sectors following suit on 6 April 2008.

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  • The Musician as Fundraiser

    As part of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy programme, the Association of British Orchestras worked with the Musicians’ Union on an initiative focusing on the contribution that musicians can make to an arts organisation’s fundraising efforts.

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  • Family Arts Campaign

    Family Arts Campaign

    The Family Arts Campaign is a large scale, national collaborative programme led by the visual and performing arts sectors to increase levels of arts engagement by families. It is an initiative of ten organisations & trade bodies, including the Association of British Orchestras, and exists to support orchestras and other arts and cultural organisations to:

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  • Healthy Orchestra Charter

    Healthy Orchestra Charter

    The Healthy Orchestra Charter was a joint initiative by the Association of British Orchestras and the Musicians' Benevolent Fund. Launched at the 2006 ABO Conference, the aim of the Charter was to set an industry-wide standard of care and award Charter Marks to orchestras that are displaying good practice towards the physical, mental and emotional health of employe...

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  • Green Charter

    Green Charter

    In November 2012 the ABO launched its Green Charter, which commits its members to recognising environmental sustainability in their planning, performance and promotion of orchestral music.

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  • Careers

    There is no set career path to being an orchestral manager and there are a variety of areas within orchestral management that you can work in.

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