BSO’s Scarfe is Orchestra Manager of the Year

DOUGIE Scarfe, chief executive of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, will have been with the Poole-based regional orchestra for ten years this year – and the celebrations began in style when he was named Orchestra Manager of the Year at the ABO/Classical Music Awards in Leeds.

This prestigious award recognises his work in championing inclusion and innovation in classical music, particularly the BSO’s investment in its digital infrastructure.

The orchestra’s live-streamed symphonic concerts, launched in 2020, ensured the public continued to enjoy great music and that musicians were kept active during the pandemic. The BSO became one of the first British orchestras to return to the concert stage, when it gave its first symphonic livestream — and its broadcasts have since widened access to culture for many people previously excluded due to rural isolation or poor health. In 2021 and 2022, an astonishing total of 23,099 digital tickets were sold for the 44 live-streamed performances, reaching viewers in six continents.

Dougie Scarfe says: “The BSO has such a unique remit championing the value of culture in people’s lives across 10,000-square-miles of the South West and I’m proud to receive this award on behalf of the brilliant BSO musicians and staff, and our wonderful audiences, communities and supporters who make everything we do possible.”

The award also recognises Dougie Scarfe’s work with BSO Resound, which became the first disabled-led ensemble at the core of a major orchestra when it was launched in 2018, and his commitment to commission music that will build the repertoire for inclusive ensembles.