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Founder of First Disabled Orchestra Honoured by Bournemouth University


Conductor James Rose has been awarded an honorary degree from Bournemouth University in recognition of his achievements in music and his work to champion disability rights.


James is the Conductor and Artistic Director of the world’s first disabled-led musical ensemble at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BSO Resound.


Having developed the six-piece ensemble and chosen its original repertoire, he oversaw its debut at the 2018 BBC Proms.


James, who conducts using a baton attached to his glasses to indicate time and dynamics, has pursued a career in the arts since graduating from University College Falmouth in 2007 with a Degree in Broadcasting, and a Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming.


Starting out in filmmaking and theatre, he made a short documentary film before experiencing the buzz of performing as a dancer at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


After 2012, James revisited his early ambitions to become a conductor. Equipped with a new-found belief that anything is possible, he went on to lead conducting development workshops at the Royal Academy, for which he secured Arts Council funding.


After responding to Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s request for a disabled artist to apply to its Change Makers programme, he founded BSO Resound.


“James is an inspiration to us all, overcoming barriers and stereotypes to get to where he has in his music career,” said Professor John Vinney, Vice Chancellor of Bournemouth University.


Helping people live better lives and challenging marginalisation are fundamental aims of our research and welcoming James into our community will motivate us all to keep going.”


James (pictured above) received his Honorary Doctorate of Music at Bournemouth University’s graduation ceremony.


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