Orchestras in Healthcare

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Derbyshire F, Harvey F, Swann M

Year of Publication:

Association of British Orchestras, City of London Sinfonia, Orchestras Live

Publication Type:


‘Orchestras in Healthcare’ offers the first comprehensive picture of the creative and financial contribution made by professional orchestras to the health, wellbeing and social care sectors across the UK.

Conceived by Sarah Derbyshire (Chief Executive, Orchestras Live), Fiona Harvey (Education and Youth Ensembles Consultant, Association of British Orchestras) and Matthew Swann (Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia) this report seeks to understand the scale and impact of the work orchestras delivered in a range of public health contexts between April 2019 and March 2020.

Drawn from a survey of 54 ABO member orchestras, opera companies and choirs, the report reveals the geographical location and type of healthcare settings in which the work takes place; orchestras’ motivation for their involvement in the healthcare sector and the role health and wellbeing delivery plays in their business models; as well as exploring the impact of Covid-19 and the role orchestras and musicians aspire to play in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

From interactive music workshops for people living with dementia on hospital wards in Edinburgh to a creative expression and social interaction project for adults recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in Bristol, live performances in specialist cancer facilities in Northern Ireland to composition workshops with young people from across London and the South East living with severe mental health and psychiatric conditions, the report highlights the wealth of participatory music-making happening in health, wellbeing and social care contexts up and down the UK.

Evidence Type: Case Study

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Derbyshire,S., Harvey,F., Swann,M. (2021). Orchestras in Healthcare. UK: Association of British Orchestras, City of London Sinfonia and Orchestras Live.