Award for orchestra lead

Peter Helps, the Chief Executive of Derby-based orchestra and Bondholder Sinfonia Viva, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to arts and culture.

Over the past 20 years Sinfonia Viva has gained national recognition for high quality classical music in diverse settings from major venues to village halls and for its innovative education and community work.

Key achievements have included developing a long-standing relationship with Rolls-Royce plc and securing funding for the Orchestra’s mobile venue to enable performances and community outreach creative projects in both inner city and rural parts of the region. The Orchestra is best known locally for its performances at the annual Darley Park concert which attracts audiences of around 35,000 every year.

Peter said “I regard this honour as an accolade for everyone at Sinfonia Viva – the trustees, management team and players alike.

“So many people past and present have played an important part in making this Orchestra a success and their commitment will ensure that we continue to navigate the challenges that face us as an Arts organisation.”

Mr Helps has also been recognised for his voluntary work to support the Arts both locally and nationally including involvement in the Association of British Orchestras, the Family Friendly Arts Campaign, Derby Arts Forum and Cultivate East Midlands.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: “Under Peter’s leadership, Sinfonia Viva has developed significantly over the years and it is very much an orchestra in the community, working with thousands of children and young people every year and more recently with older people in care homes and community settings. This is a well-deserved achievement for Peter and Viva - many congratulations.”