Talent, Impact, Legacy

Last year, Manchester Camerata celebrated 50 years of making a difference. It is a journey that has seen us evolve into one of the most innovative and respected orchestras in the UK. Thank you to our friends and supporters who have helped us get this far.

That milestone was important to our audiences, musicians, staff and supporters. There is much that we have achieved that is a source of pride. We wanted to pause to recognise that, with programming throughout the year that provided a fitting focus for our celebrations.

In 2022-23, as well as looking back, the Board has also been looking forward. Our focus has been on ensuring we have a clear strategic vision and plan that sets out our long-term objectives and the policies and procedures in place to deliver them. We are also creating the foundations for our next half a century. That future legacy will be built through capturing and telling new stories that have relevance and meaning for today’s audiences.

That is because in another 50 years time we want Manchester Camerata to be continuing to nurture innovative talent and create meaningful human connections for everyone. That demands an approach to sustainability that goes beyond short-term funding cycles and immediate pressures caused by the current cost of living crisis. Instead, we are adopting a strategic approach that considers the longer-term threats to sustainability, not just for ourselves but for the performing arts sector in general.

This thinking led to the identification of nurturing talent as one of the vital building blocks required to support our long-term ambitions. We are starting by putting those values into action within our own organisation, this year implementing a significant pay rise for our freelance musicians. In the longer term, our exciting new Manchester Camerata 360° Ruth Sutton Fellowships are set to provide a range of structured pathways to support young musicians as they develop their craft and embark on fulfilling careers within the sector.

We know the talent pipeline is under threat. This is our response. To fulfil its mission, Manchester Camerata should not and will not stand still. That means translating our words into action and challenging the way we think and the way we work. It is only by operating on the edge of what is comfortable that we learn and define new possibilities for the role of music in driving change.

This year has been no exception. We have delivered large-scale and experimental works in the UK and undertaken our first commercial tour to Saudi Arabia. These projects were very different, and each brought a different set of challenges. But it is through challenge that we learn – as a board, as a management team, and as musicians. And always, what sits at the core of our decision making, is a strong set of values and principles that underpin everything that we do.

Those values will continue to shape the way we work.

I would like to thank our musicians, staff, and fellow board members for playing their part in delivering another year of excellence and impact. Together we will continue to innovate, support talent, and open up access so that the lives of audiences are elevated and enhanced.

Steve Dauncey, Chair

Back to 2023 Annual Report