Download full 2023 Annual Report here

Chair’s Introduction

In its 50th year, Manchester Camerata celebrated our rich history whilst planning for a successful and sustainable future. Board discussions prioritised the importance of adopting a long-term approach, recognising the broader challenges that the arts sector faces. Much of our focus was on nurturing talent. We introduced our new Ruth Sutton Manchester Camerata 360 Fellowships and implemented a significant pay rise for our freelance musicians. In line with our vision and values, the organisation continues to embrace change, delivering innovative projects thanks to the continued commitment and generosity of our donors and supporters. Manchester Camerata remains dedicated to excellence, impact, and reimagining what an orchestra can be. – Steve Dauncey, Chair

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In 2022-23, Manchester Camerata welcomed Samantha McShane as its new Creative Director. The orchestra, spanning local to international stages, delivered diverse and engaging performances. Notable collaborations included the world premiere of a symphonic interpretation at the Bradford Literature Festival and the near completion of our recording of all Mozart’s Piano Concertos. The orchestra’s global impact expanded with well-received international tours to the Baltics and the Middle East. Looking ahead to 2024, Manchester Camerata remains dedicated to talent support, unlocking creativity, and redefining orchestral possibilities with humanity, originality, excellence, and fearlessness at our core.

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In 2022-23, Manchester Camerata achieved financial stability, exceeding £2 million in revenue for the first time through a blend of commercial income and philanthropic giving. Despite a challenging fundraising environment, our strategic fundraising efforts were successful, with donors remaining dedicated to the orchestra’s vision. Reflecting the Board’s priorities, we have focused on long-term sustainable goals, with the launch of the Ruth Sutton Manchester Camerata 360 Fellowships and the securing of chair sponsorships. Close consultation with our donors drove the production of our fundraising strategy. Manchester Camerata anticipates this strategy will support our growth in 2023-24, building on a secure financial foundation.

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In 2022-23, Manchester Camerata significantly impacted communities through our music. The Music Cafes provided vital support for individuals with dementia and were featured in a BBC One documentary. The newly established spin-out Music in Mind Remote expanded this initiative, offering resources for professionals in community and care settings. The orchestra’s Social Impact Plan guided community engagement, creating new connections for both musicians and audiences across Greater Manchester whilst our People Make the Place event united the Gorton community. The appointment of a new Senior Project Manager signals our ongoing commitment to expanding our reach and fostering social impact through world-class music.

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In 2022, Manchester Camerata successfully told its story beyond traditional classical music audiences. A BBC One documentary on dementia highlighted the orchestra’s community impact, while the short film ‘Untold – Keith’ won the Storytelling category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. Print media covered our work too, including The Times which carried a major feature on the musical journey of our Music Director Gábor Takács-Nagy’. As we move into 2024, we aim to deepen our digital storytelling efforts. Our robust communications strategy will help us to challenge perceptions of classical music and showcase the profound impact of world-class music on people’s lives.

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Manchester Camerata is founded on strong corporate governance principles. Key initiatives in 2022-23 included revising our strategic plan, updating our vision and values, and reviewing statutory documents. Internal processes, data management, and financial systems were also enhanced for improved efficiency. A strategic board review led to the recruitment of four new members, augmenting our expertise in legal affairs, fundraising, and social impact. The Board’s commitment to long-term sustainability was evident in decisions that supported freelance musicians, built talent pipelines, and aligned our commercial activities with the organisation’s core purpose. Moving forward, the Board will drive Manchester Camerata’s strategy, ensuring a vision-led and values-driven approach in the coming year.

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In 2022-23, Manchester Camerata marked its 50th year by reflecting on its legacy and also embracing fresh opportunities. Celebrating the past and innovating for the future, the orchestra developed new collaborations and extended its reach to connect with diverse audiences both locally and internationally. The pursuit of the new defines Manchester Camerata, ensuring its continual relevance in a rapidly changing world. This journey involves redefining the orchestra’s role and exploring the boundaries of the possible. The organisation’s fundamentals of governance, funding, and impact provide a solid foundation. That will allow us to move forward from celebrating our history to crafting a new and enduring legacy.

Download full 2023 Annual Report here