Paul Hamlyn Foundation grant

7th May 2016

Aurora Orchestra is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a special grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in support of its flagship series at Southbank Centre. The three-year award of £150,000 is made in memory of Claus Moser, who died in September 2015.

Moser was an esteemed statistician, economist, academic and champion of the arts, serving amongst many other positions as Chairman of the Royal Opera House (1974–1987) and trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. He held the strong belief that the performing arts, and music in particular, could and should be accessible and relevant to all without the need to compromise quality or artistic integrity.

The Orchestral Theatre series – now subtitled The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre – is underpinned by the same guiding principle.  Launched by Aurora in 2016 following an invitation from Southbank Centre to become Associate Orchestra, it aims to inspire new and existing audiences alike through musical journeys infused with a sense of spectacle, dynamism, playfulness and surprise. The series seeks to challenge conventions around the classical concert format, and to ignite dialogue between orchestral music and other art forms and musical genres.  Common to all is an uncompromising focus on great orchestral music, brilliantly performed, with music and musicians always providing a primary creative stimulus.

Programmes developed as part of the series will tour regularly to other UK venues including Aurora’s regional residency partners in Bristol (St George’s Bristol), Bury St Edmunds (Apex) and Canterbury (Gulbenkian/Colyer-Fergusson Hall).

Speaking about the award, Aurora’s Chief Executive John Harte says: “We are thrilled and honoured that the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has chosen to award Aurora a grant in memory of Claus Moser in this our tenth anniversary season. As a tireless supporter of the arts and performer himself, Claus is remembered for his broad artistic horizons, his commitment to accessibility without sacrificing quality, and his insatiable appetite for discovery.  These hallmarks resonate very strongly with this series: we are delighted to be naming it in Claus’ honour, and hope that it will prove a fitting tribute to his memory.”

Speaking on behalf of the Moser family, Pete Moser says: “Music was central to my father’s life as was his belief in social justice. As a family we are so happy that his long connection with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which often combined these two interests, is being celebrated with this award to Aurora Orchestra and this exciting programme of music making. A great idea from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to develop a legacy project in his name to this exciting creative young orchestra.”

Gillian Moore MBE, Director of Music at Southbank Centre, says: “I’m thrilled that Aurora Orchestra’s innovative and inclusive approach to music performance at Southbank Centre has been recognised by support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in memory of Claus Moser. Aurora’s Orchestral Theatre Series brings together organisations and people all committed to the best possible art for all people, an idea to which Lord Claus was dedicated throughout his life.

Jane Hamlyn, Chair of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “Claus was a great friend of my father, Paul. They shared similar histories and our families were very close. His extensive knowledge of music and the arts meant that he was instrumental in establishing some of the Foundation’s most high profile programmes, such as the Paul Hamlyn Performances at the Royal Opera House, which provided a first experience of ballet and opera at an affordable price to some 200,000 people, and Musical Futures, now an independent charity and operating in about half of English secondary schools. We are very proud to continue this tradition of support for the very best of accessible music making in his name.”