ABO Conference to highlight changes in classical music curriculum


Trinity Laban Director of Music Dr Claire Mera-Nelson joins colleagues from a wide range of the UK's leading music and arts organisations at the 2015 Association of British Orchestras (ABO) conference in Gateshead this week (28-30 January 2015).

The conference theme is People Power, with panellists and delegates examining the role of leadership in effecting change, the development of creative skills and a creative workforce, strategies for engaging young people, and orchestras and technology, and more.

Dr Mera-Nelson is representing the UK's conservatoire sector in a panel discussion curated by UK Music, a major music campaigning and lobbying group, which represents every part of the recorded and live music industry. Entitled “People Power – the music business”, panellists will debate what classical music can learn from rock and pop industry, and how classical music can become more enterprising at a time of declining public subsidy.

Dr Mera-Nelson notes: "As a leading training organisation for musicians, it’s vital that Trinity Laban plays a proactive role in looking - alongside the music industry - at the future of our art form across the full spectrum of musical genres. The ABO is the national body representing the collective interests of professional orchestras, youth ensembles and the wider classical music industry throughout the UK and they are leading the debate, asking us challenging questions about whether current classical music business models, leadership styles, programming practices, artistic approaches and audience engagement strategies are sufficient to sustain classical music in its current form.

“We believe that change is coming for classical music, and in support of the employment opportunities of the next generation of musicians we need to ensure that the conversations and thinking happening today inform our curriculum for the future."

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy will give the opening address; and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, will give a closing keynote on the future landscape of arts funding.