In August, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra made the exciting announcement that it was recruiting a Composer-in-Residence for its Change Makers project.
BSO Change Makers officially launched in June 2017, when the Orchestra welcomed James Rose, a disabled conductor, as he started his new role in preparation for creating, developing and directing a new professional disabled-led ensemble.
The BSO Change Makers’ Composer-in-Residence will work alongside James in helping to develop repertoire for the new BSO ensemble.
Alexander Campkin has been appointed as the BSO Change Makers’ Composer-in-Residence. Alexander studied music at Oxford University, the Royal Academy of Music and the University for Performing Arts in Vienna, and his work has been performed or broadcast in over thirty countries.
Alexander has received over 100 commissions from organisations such as The Royal Opera House, The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, The BBC Performing Arts Fund and The Theatinerkirche Vokalkapelle Munich. The Oxford Times described his work as “Beautiful, original and deeply moving”.
Alexander said: “I am thrilled and delighted to have been appointed Composer-in-Residence for the Change Makers ensemble.
“I am honoured to be a part of this transformative project. I look forward to working with James’s ensemble to create a new repertoire of chamber music which better reflects our diverse society.”
As the BSO Change Makers’ Composer-in-Residence, Alexander will play a key part in the delivery of this project, working closely with James and the Change Makers ensemble, as well as writing commissioned works and running workshops alongside James.
This project puts diversity at the forefront as it is an opportunity to promote diversity within the orchestral music sector and the wider society as a whole, continuing the BSO’s mission to make its music accessible to the widest possible audiences across the region.
James Rose, Change Maker/ Conductor, said: “I feel that Alexander’s style, passion and foresight will be crucial in engaging our audiences and I am delighted to bring him on board to write for the ensemble.”
This project has been made possible thanks to a funding award from Arts Council England’s (ACE) Change Makers fund, which aims to address the under-representation of black, minority ethnic and disabled people in the arts, as well as a significant donation from two private donors.
The Change Makers project is hosted by BSO Participate’s Rising Talent, which provides an important pathway for emerging talent in classical music.
James will lead the new Change Makers ensemble in a series of public performances and workshops to disabled and non-disabled young people and adults held at special schools and venues across the South and South West.
The aim of both performances and workshops is to inspire young people and adults with disabilities to have the self-belief that it is possible to become a professional musician with dedication and practice.
Through Change Makers, the BSO will become the first Symphony Orchestra in the world to have a professional disabled-led ensemble as a core part of its programme.
Philip R Buttall
(image: Alexander Campkin. Courtesy of AP Wilding)