Friday, 14 October 2016

Diversity and Inclusion

Chineke! Orchestra
Chineke! Orchestra
The predominantly white male middle-class nature of Western classical music is something which is, thankfully, changing; rapidly in some areas, less so in others. BBC Radio 3 is focusing on the area of composition and holding a Diversity and Inclusion in Composition one day conference at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on 19 October 2016, hosted in partnership with BASCA, the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern College of Music, and in association with the BBC Black and Asian Forum. 

Whilst in another area of inclusion, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has been awarded funding from the Art's Council's Change Makers fund which, along with a significant donation, allows the orchestra to host a training placement for James Rose, a conductor with disabilities, to accelerate his development, experience and confidence as an artist.

The BBC's conference will include guest speakers Alan Davey (BBC Radio 3 Controller), Tunde Ogungbesan (the BBC’s Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession), Chi-chi Nwanoku (founder of the Chineke! Foundation), Toks Dada (Programme Coordinator at Town Hall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham) and composers Daniel Kidane and Errollyn Wallen. The day will feature panel discussions, Q&As and talks from the guest speakers, and will conclude with a live broadcast of Radio 3's In Tune programme which will talks from the day’s speakers, live music from the BBC Philharmonic, performances from students of the Royal Northern College of Music and members of the Chineke! Orchestra, Britain's first professional orchestra of black and ethnic minority musicians.

James Rose - photo Hanazushi Rhodes, Royal Academy of Music
James Rose - photo Hanazushi Rhodes, Royal Academy of Music
BBC Radio 3 programming all week, Monday 17th to Friday 21st October, will complement the conference, Breakfast (6.30-9am) and Essential Classics (9-12am) will feature the music of composers from black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities, while Composer of the Week (Monday-Friday, 12am-1pm) will explore the life and music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). This programmatic theme continues to Saturday 22 October when many of the day's programmes are related to the theme, including an edition of Music Matters recorded at the conference.

The conductor James Rose, will take up his training placement with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in June 2017, and over the course of 18 months' mentorship from the orchestra will create, curate and direct a disabled-led ensemble. The ensemble, conducted by James will deliver a series of performances and workshops to young people and adults with and without disabilities across the region. James was selected by the BSO for his outstanding ambition and commitment to the art of conducting and music direction. He has a unique conducting style, using a head-baton, which challenges commonly held perceptions about the nature of a conductor’s role.

Of the 20 successful applicants for the Arts Council's Change Makers fund, the BSO is not only the only orchestra to receive funding, but is also the only disabled-led music project in the country to receive funding through the scheme.

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