Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra launches ensemble led by disabled musicians

The BSO becomes the first symphony orchestra in the world to create a professional ensemble with disabled musicians

Published: February 7, 2018 at 4:30 pm

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra today launches its first ensemble led exclusively by disabled professional musicians, which will become a permanent feature of the BSO’s musical family.


The ensemble will be led by disabled conductor James Rose, who is undertaking an 18-month training placement thanks to an award from the Arts Council England’s Change Makers Fund, a programme supporting BME and disabled leaders in the arts. He will be working alongside composer-in-residence Alexander Campkin and young composer-in-residence Lucy Hale.

The six founding members are Siobhan Clough (violin/viola), Phillip Howells (percussion), Roger Preston (cello), Kate Risdon (flute), Matthew Scott (clarinet) and Charlotte White (LinnStrument – a MIDI controller for creating musical performance, using touchpads to create the quality of five acoustic instruments).

The currently unnamed ensemble will perform as a standalone group as well as alongside the orchestra. ‘The ensemble will deliver a varied programme of high-quality performances, as well as participation work,’ says conductor James Rose. ‘Just as the other BSO ensembles do.’


Grab a copy of the February issue of BBC Music Magazine to read more about disability in music, with Andrew Stewart reporting on the National Open Youth Orchestra.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

Sponsored content