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Bournemouth Philharmonic Society, BAPS Orchestra

Our Founder


Sam Newgarth

Sadly Sam Newgarth passed away early in 2023, but his music will live on as Bournemouth Philharmic orchestra goes from strength to strength. Sam's legacy will continue and musicians from all walks of life will be encouraged and given the opportunity to play in a full sized symphony orchestra. A concert was held in Sam's memory in July 2023 which drew so many people that extra seating was arranged and crowds were even listening from the lobby as the church was full! Memories of Sam were shared, and his life and music celebrated warmly. In addition a large sum was raised for the Alzheimers Society.

Sam had been an orchestral conductor for forty years, and toured the world following his profession. He conducted everything ranging from shows and light orchestras through to symphony orchestras. He conducted shows on tour in this country, in America, in Italy and in London's West End. Much time was devoted to radio and television, and some of the orchestras that Sam had been involved with were: The New Philharmonic Orchestra (Principal Conductor), The Capetown Radio Orchestra (Guest Conductor) and The Soirée Musicale Ensemble (Principal Conductor).


He was the Principal Conductor of The Bournemouth Philharmonic Society, since he founded it in 1976 until September 2021. In his time as conductor many thousands of pounds was raised for deserving causes, and young talented soloists given the opportunity to perform concertos with an orchestra. He studied at The Royal Academy of Music, where his principal instrument was the violin with second study piano and he also took the composition and conductors' courses. In the 1997 New Years Honours Sam was made M.B.E. for services to music and charity.



As well as striving to devise concert programmes to please audiences, Sam was always mindful of giving the players interesting - and at times challenging - music to get their teeth into.

Sam Newgarth is greatly missed, but is remembered warmly and his legacy lives on.

Our Conductor

Richard Cross

Bournemouth born Richard Cross has been Principal Conductor of Bournemouth Philharmonic since September 2021. His teachers have included Denise Ham, Rodolfo Saglimbeni and Gerry Cornelius.

On the other side of the rostrum, he has performed with musicians including Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martyn Brabbins, Kirill Karabits, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Antonio Pappano and John Wilson, as an orchestral trombonist; orchestras include Bournemouth Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Chamber Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia, undertaking
broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, Naxos CD recordings and live concerts including at The BBC Proms. In smaller ensembles he has performed for the Archbishop of Canterbury at key services, and on the lighter side, he has played as a jazz/ big band musician onboard the QE2 and has recorded at EMI Abbey Rd studios for the pop industry. For TV he has performed the opening theme tune as a solo for an episode of BBC’s The One Show. Corporate engagements include performing at private functions for Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Shell.

Richard has composed for theatre companies which tour the UK. His arrangements have been performed by musicians in Europe, Asia, the USA and Australasia, and by music students at conservatoires and universities including The Royal Academy, Royal College, Guildhall, Trinity Laban, Texas Tech and Cambridge University. More recently, his arrangements have been performed at London venues including The Savoy Ballroom, The Natural History Museum and V&A Museum.

Richard is a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music.


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