Seeing each other through the arts.






Music | Leadership and Education

Music: beyond expression


We need to extend the reach of the orchestra out from just that concert platform, into the community, into the schools, making the population – who are paying for this with the taxes – understand that the orchestra is there for them. – Mark Pemberton, Association of British Orchestras (ABO)


Brazilian conductor and composer Heitor Villa-Lobos said that it is necessary to make the whole world sing, because the music is as useful as bread and water. But its value goes far beyond the expression of emotions and feelings; it expresses cultural traits and it is an important agent of social representation – and transformation. The Transform programme has created several projects in Music, Leadership & Education that promotes the artistic exchange between Brazil and the United Kingdom and the sharing of educational and social experiences through music.


Outside the comfort zone

Music is dynamic, and like society, expands itself in different genres and styles. Even traditional musical organisations such as the orchestras, face new challenges in a changing world. How to respond to such dynamic urban environments, how to create and strengthen the bond with the audience and how to interact with public spaces are just some of the questions that arise to the orchestras. In order to consider such important sector issues, the British Council launched, in 2014, the Transform Orchestra Leadership, a professional development programme that encourages creation of public policies, education, support to new talent in music and economic impact.

Luiz Coradazzi

Director of the Arts Brazil

Sabrina Candido

Arts Manager for Music and Film


students benefited from our projects and partnerships in the music sector


professional musicians joined the International Multiorchestra Conferences since 2013


Artistic residencies with Brazilian and Scottish musicians

During the International Multiorchestra Conference, Brazil and the UK joined around the creation of a common agenda. In 2014, the theme was Talent, Management and Impact, with a remarkable presence of Aurora, one of the most important chamber orchestras of Europe and famous for its projects in schools, hospitals and communities. Aurora has performed in São Paulo e Belo Horizonte and offered a composition workshop for students from Projeto Guri Santa Marcelina which resulted in the composition and presentation of three parts at a concert hall. “A lot of Aurora’s work is about collaboration, and that extends not only to our work on the concert platform but also and as well with young people, something that really inspires us”, states John Harte, Aurora Artistic Director.


“A arte transforma os seres humanos. Faz eles usarem mais seu potencial, irem mais fundo naquilo que são capazes de fazer, explorar partes que eles nem sabem que tem.”

Cláudia Toni, Gestora Cultural

In 2015, the Conference theme was The Orchestra and the City, and the event was opened by the Scottish Ensemble, a British string orchestra known by its work and engagement with the community and by performing at unusual sights. “Those who are here today and those who will join this conversation in a close future have a huge love for music and share the belief that music and the musical practicing transform people and the cities”, states Luiz Coradazzi, Art Director at the Brazilian British Council. Also in 2015, it’s been offered the TOL Professional Development, in which British and Brazilian orchestra managers have been selected to a three weeks interchange with the orchestral sector from each country. The programme involved institutions as the London Philarmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Orchestra, The Halle, OSESP, Santa Marcelina Cultura, Neojibá among others. In 2016, the conference had the participation of the Royal Northern Sinfonia with the theme ‘Orchestra: mode(s) of use’. One of the programme’s most meaningful results has been the engagement of the sector in Brazil to create the Associação Brasileira de Orquestras (Association of Brazilian Orchestras), with the support and consultancy from the  Association of British Orchestras (ABO). “ Watching a sector coming together and forming that trade body for the very first time has been incredibly inspiring”, states Cathy Graham, Director of Music and Strategic Projects at British Council during the creation of the Brazilian Orchestra Association in 2015.

A tool for socialisation and apprenticeship

Another important project within the Transform is the World Voice Brazil, a capacity building  training for the use of singing in the classroom developed by the British Council in 12 countries. "World Voice believes that the musical development of students is an important tool to support learning in general. The aim of the workshop with the teachers is that they feel able to also using music in the classroom", explains Sabrina Candido, British Council Project Manager. World Voice seeks to learn the local culture of each country visited, where two traditional songs are selected and take it further by creating a songbook. It is estimated that for each trained teacher, a much larger number of children and young people are affected. "Thinking that I can join the idea of ​​a person or a group from another country to contribute to music education in my country is great", said Daniele de Almeida, selected as a Young Leader and program’s multiplier.


VIDEO: Conferência Internacional Multiorquestra 2014

Check more Transform videos [+]

Integration through music

Transform also supports British and Brazilian Festivals interchange, such as the Novas Frequências, which established a rich curatorial exchange with the Scottish Counterflows, in Glasgow, with Brazilian presence in many of its stages. Another important partnership has been made between the Brazilian Festival  Multiplicidade, which explores visual arts and experimental sounds in multimedia performances, and the Scottish Sonica, which presents emerging talents and renowned artists through artistic residencies among them. The British Council still supports Scottish artists to perform with MIMO (Mostra Internacional de Música em Olinda), a world music Festival presented annually at Brazilian Historical sights. The support to Festivals not only consolidates the artistic exchange between the two nations but also enlarges the access to music, give new talents opportunities, improve skills and approximates people from different cultures and backgrounds through the music universal language.

Transforming Conversations

“Art transforms human beings."
Claudia Toni

Claudia Toni, cultural manager and expert in public policy for the arts and former executive director of Osesp - São Paulo State Orchestra, talks about her work with the British Council Transform Orchestra Leadership project.


Discover all about the Transform Programme by category:

| Music | Museums | Drama and Dance | Film and Literature | Creative Economy & Cultural Skills | Accessibility and Human Rights |