Open Up Music is a national charity, with a simple mission: to ensure that orchestras are accessible to disabled young musicians. We believe that orchestras should belong to everyone. Unfortunately, for the most part, disabled representation within orchestral players, composers, staff teams and audiences continues to be an unrealised opportunity.
Since 2007, Open Up Music has supported the musical development of hundreds of the UK’s most marginalised young musicians. Through our innovative, award-winning programmes we empower disabled young people to radically redefine the ideas of “The Orchestra”, tackling inequality, inspiring new instruments and creating new musical forms for the 21st century.
Our programmes include the ‘National Open Youth Orchestra’ - the worlds first disabled-led national youth ensemble and ‘Open Orchestras’ a national network of over 40 special school orchestras. These programmes are also underpinned by an ongoing R&D programme creating a new generation of accessible musical instruments; and the commissioning of new repertoire that expresses the musical identities of young disabled musicians.
Our programmes are delivered in partnership with some of the UK’s most preeminent arts and cultural organisations, Music Education Hubs and educational institutions. Together, we are challenging the disabling barriers that orchestras present to disabled people to create a world where orchestras are open to everyone.