THE ‘flagship’ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is setting the standard for where the cultural life of the united BCP conurbation needs to be.

That’s the view of the cabinet member for regeneration and culture, Cllr Mark Howell.

BCP political leaders will be hosted at a reception by the BSO on Wednesday ahead of the evening’s concert.

Both BCP and Dorset Council help fund the orchestra in both its music and the huge range and scale of its community work in schools, hospitals, care homes, the groundbreaking disabled-led ensemble Resound, along with many other projects.

Cllr Howell of the Unity Alliance administration, told the Daily Echo: “We are incredibly fortunate to have a world class orchestra in our midst. It is a flagship with a global reputation and it sets the standard.

“I am very keen to see more younger people come along and be part of the BSO experience for the future.”

He said the orchestra, which was established in 1893, had a huge role to play in helping to lead and define the cultural identity of the BCP conurbation.

Creating a social, economic and cultural identity to help generate investment and put the ‘new’ area on the map was one of the key reasons for last year's local government reorganisation.

Radio stations have seen a huge recent growth in new classical listeners, as more people try to escape what BSO chief executive, Dougie Scarfe calls "the frazzled digital world."

He said: “Our orchestra is highly regarded not just in the UK but across the globe. We invite the world’s leading conductors and soloists to the region each year and countless music lovers move here to enjoy world class music making and one of the most beautiful locations.”

He added: “The ongoing support from local government remains crucial in enabling us to deliver our mission and we look forward to celebrating this with leaders from BCP on Wednesday.”

◾️The concert is entitled Grand Tourists and features Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schubert. Chief conductor Kirill Karabits will be at the podium. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Three.