Two days of auditions took place at Lighthouse, Poole with 8 finalists competing for the position. The winner was selected by a vote from the Orchestra’s musicians.

The bursary-supported training position is designed to provide a platform to launch a professional career through performance opportunities and mentoring, including from the Orchestra’s world-leading guest conductors and musicians.


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces Enyi Okpara as its Calleva Assistant Conductor for the 2024/25 concert season. The role, which received 120 applications, provides a platform to build professional experience and development, with mentoring from some of the world’s leading names in classical music.


Enyi Okpara from London has today (16 April) been announced as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2024/25 Calleva Assistant Conductor, having won a vote from the Orchestra’s musicians at Lighthouse, Poole.

The bursary-supported training position is designed to offer a platform to build professional experience through performance opportunities and mentoring from the BSO’s world-leading conductors and musicians, which include incoming Chief Conductor Mark Wigglesworth, Principal Guest Conductor Chloé van Soeterstède, and Associate Guest Conductor David Hill.

Currently based in London, Okpara studied an MA in Orchestral Conducting with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, where he held the Derek Butler Award. He is Conductor-in-Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, alongside positions with Camden Youth Choir, Elysium Music, ARK Music, and Havant Symphony Orchestra.

The role was previously held by Tom Fetherstonhaugh, who is rapidly building an international career and has recently been signed to the Rayfield Allied agency.

Enyi Okpara, the BSO’s 2024/25 Calleva Assistant Conductor said: “I’m so looking forward to the year ahead and working with these amazing musicians, who have shown so much warmth towards all of us finalists this week. To have the opportunity to work regularly with a professional orchestra of this calibre is such an amazing experience — I can’t wait!”

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe OBE DL, said: “We’re thrilled to have welcomed yet another fantastic cohort of brilliant conductors to the platform at Lighthouse, Poole for this year’s competition. Ensuring development opportunities for the next generation is hugely important to us at the BSO; we’re deeply proud of the scheme and are grateful to The Calleva Foundation for their support of it. Throughout the two days, Enyi stood out as a talent to watch, as recognised by the musicians’ vote, and we can’t wait to share music together with him over the coming year.” 

The Calleva Assistant Conductor programme in 2024-2030 is funded by The Calleva Foundation, in memory of Jack Butt.