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Alexis Ffrench to partner with ABRSM as our first ever Artistic Director

1 year ago

Classical-soul artist Alexis Ffrench will be partnering with ABRSM as our first ever Artistic Director later in the year. As Artistic Director, Alexis will be collaborating with us to broaden the appeal of classical music and reach out to learners following less formal progression paths.

A composer, pianist, producer and passionate advocate for music education, Alexis has amassed over 450 million global streams and is at the vanguard of composers reframing and reimagining classical music for new audiences.

Our Chief Executive, Chris Cobb, reflects on our vision for the future “to inspire as wide a range of learners as we can from around the world to experience the joy of music.” He adds that “everyone at ABRSM is tremendously excited to be collaborating with Alexis to bring together his ambition and ours. As Artistic Director he will help us to support musical progression in all forms, reaching out to a more diverse range of learners and musicians whose participation in music-making may be through less formal educational routes or assessments.”

Part of this will involve helping to bring our new Performance Grades to life, leading on masterclasses and concerts, demonstrating the impact that personality brings to performance. His influence on our repertoire will also be important as we further extend the diversity of our syllabuses and the musical genres we support.

Signed exclusively to Sony Classical, Alexis has devised and led music courses for the Prince’s Trust, in partnership with Sony Music UK, and posts tutorials on YouTube and social media to help young musicians develop their skills. He has also used his music to highlight mental health issues, discuss diversity and to challenge the classical world to be more inclusive.

We asked Alexis to share his thoughts.

“I am thrilled to be ABRSM’s first ever Artistic Director because, above all, it means that I will have the distinct privilege of helping shape and enrich the musical journeys of performers and learners of all ages, all over the world - working to raise each and every joyful voice in celebrating their progress, achievements, and collective love for music in all its forms.

“I am particularly keen to consider new contexts for musical expression, collaborative opportunities, and explore creative pathways for musicians engaged in self-directed, non-didactic music making in recognition of, and appreciation for, the exciting and panoramic range of talents, interests, and experiences demonstrated in non-traditional arenas.

“Musically speaking, my hope is to embrace a global network of learners and aspiring performers, and harness their creative potential for joyful music-making and artistic exploration to the fullest.

“It’s going to be quite a ride, and I can’t wait to start collaborating with ABRSM’s Chief Executive, Chris Cobb, and his wonderful team in service of teachers and learners all over the world!”

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