Dougie Scarfe joined the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as its new Chief Executive in July 2012 after a successful career as performer, Manager and Director at Opera North. Whilst at school Dougie was Principal Horn in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music and winning the Hiles Medal for Orchestral playing. In 2000 a serious playing-related jaw condition ended Dougie’s performing career. After four years as Executive Assistant to the General Director at Opera North, in 2006 he became Chorus & Orchestra Director and Concerts Director and was widely credited with transforming the concert and recording programme at the Company. Outside Opera North, Dougie maintained strong teaching and community links and remains passionate about the importance of Music Education and creating opportunities for young people to learn and experience live music of all genres. He played an important role in the founding of Yorkshire Young Musicians (YYM). Dougie was a Founder Trustee and also Chairman of the YYM Board of Trustees from 2005-2007.
Principal Double Bass
I started to play the Double Bass at the age of 12 after having failed to play the clarinet! I joined the BSO in 1985 as Principal Double Bass, then three years later spent a year studying in the US. There I had the privilege of taking lessons with Professor Edwin Barker, Principal Bass of the American BSO (the Boston Symphony) who was a real inspiration to me. I always wanted to be an orchestral musician – I never considered anything else. There is great camaraderie playing in an orchestra; to be working in such precise co-ordination with such a large number of people is a unique experience. I still love the buzz of a concert more than anything else in the job.
The best thing about my job is being part of something far bigger than myself, that people come from far and wide to enjoy. I’m constantly humbled by the lengths and expense that people go to in order to come to hear us play. A musical personality living or dead I’d most like to meet? Schoenberg – I’d shake his hand and tell him Verklaerte Nacht is utterly wonderful, then punch him on the nose and tell him atonalism is just horrible.