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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Names Assistant Conductor for 2024/25 Season

London-based conductor Enyi Okpara will step into the role


The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has named the London-based conductor Enyi Okpara as its Calleva Assistant Conductor for the 2024/25 season.

120 young conductors applied for the position, and eight of them were invited to audition live with the orchestra over the course of two days. The BSO's players then voted for their preferred candidate, with Okpara coming out on top.

Funded by the Calleva Foundation in memory of Jack Butt, the position provides a bursary and is designed to assist early-career conductors in establishing themselves. Okpara will have the opportunity to work alongside the BSO's incoming Chief Conductor Mark Wigglesworth, as well as Principal Guest Conductor Chloé van Soeterstède and Associate Guest Conductor David Hill.

Enyi Okpara received his MA in Orchestral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Sian Edwards and was funded by the Derek Butler Award. He is presently the Conductor-in-Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and holds positions with Camden Youth Choir, Elysium Music, ARK Music, and Havant Symphony Orchestra.

"I’m so looking forward to the year ahead and working with these amazing musicians, who have shown so much warmth towards all of us finalists this week," Okpara said. "To have the opportunity to work regularly with a professional orchestra of this caliber is such an amazing experience — I can’t wait!"

"We’re thrilled to have welcomed yet another fantastic cohort of brilliant conductors to the platform at Lighthouse, Poole for this year’s competition," said Douglas Scarfe, the CEO of the Bournemouth Symphony. "Ensuring development opportunities for the next generation is hugely important to us at the BSO; we’re deeply proud of the scheme and are grateful to The Calleva Foundation for their support of it."

"Throughout the two days, Enyi stood out as a talent to watch, as recognized by the musicians’ vote, and we can’t wait to share music together with him over the coming year."

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