THE outgoing chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has been recognised with an Honorary OBE by King Charles.

Maestro Kirill Karabits leaves his post at the end of the season after a remarkable fifteen years at the podium.

The honour has been bestowed in recognition of his services to music and the promotion of symphonic music from his homeland and eastern Europe in the UK, something that has had a significant impact on music in this country.

It’s also an even more appropriate tribute in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago, the turmoil of which had brought the much loved conductor even closer to the BSO musicians, staff and audiences.

Karabits said: “I am deeply grateful to receive this Honorary OBE for the journey I have been privileged to share with the BSO’s musicians and audiences over the past fifteen years.

"I’m deeply proud of what we have achieved together. I look forward to celebrating the Voices from the East series with our performances in Bristol, Poole, and London this spring, and continuing our journey when I become conductor laureate and artistic director, Voices from the East, later this year."

The son of composer Ivan Karabits (1945-2002) — Karabits has performed music from his homeland for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s audiences in the south west of England since 2009.

The Voices from the East series has featured works from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine — and has included recordings, broadcasts, live performances, and newly commissioned music.

Dougie Scarfe OBE DL, chief executive of BSO said: “We are thrilled that Kirill’s impact on the UK’s musical landscape has been recognised with an Honorary OBE. It has been an adventure to explore this music, which has included new commissions and discoveries of lesser-known symphonic pieces.

"The recognition of Kirill’s impact is further evidence of music’s ability to open our minds to new places and spaces — and we look forward to continuing the journey.”

The new chief conductor announced this week is Mark Wigglesworth.