British conductor Jonathan Nott (born 1962) has extended his contract with the Geneva-based Orchestre de la Suisse Romande until 2026. He has been the orchestra's musical director since 2017, and has been working with them since 2014. Jonathan Nott is also music director of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and has also worked with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Nott is the son of a priest at Worcester Cathedral in the UK, where he initially studied, at the Royal Northern College of Music, and then he developed his conducting career in Germany via the Kapellmeister route.
In June 2023 the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) announced Marin Alsop as its new Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. Alsop's directorship will begin with the 2023/24 season and will see her work closely with NOSPR's General and Programme Director, Ewa Bogusz-Moore, to shape the Orchestra's programme and develop its national and international reputation.
Alsop made her debut with the orchestra in February 2021 and has since conducted fifteen concerts, toured it to Japan and led three conducting masterclasses with NOSPR. Her directorship will see her build on this relationship and conduct seven symphonic concerts in the 2023/24 season, including the second edition of Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition and the recording of Krzysztof Penderecki's opera The Black Mask.
During a visit to Katowice in March 2023, Alsop led a masterclass and short performance with young Ukrainian conductors as part of the SPLOT–UA Residency programme for Ukrainian creatives. They presented a piece by Polish composer Agata Zubel and the ensemble included musicians from the NOSPR Academy. Alsop's masterclasses in Katowice have been a successful launching pad for the participating young conductors which included two protégés of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship who were invited to join by NOSPR.
Czech conductor Petr Popelka will become the new Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker. The orchestra's musicians voted in favour of appointing Popelka by an overwhelming majority. In the 2023/24 season, he will make a number of appearances as Chief Conductor Designate, before taking up his position for an initial period of five years, beginning with the orchestra's anniversary season in 2024/25.
Jan Nast, Intendant of the Wiener Symphoniker, commented:
I am very pleased about the outcome of the musicians' vote. Following Andrés Orozco-Estrada's unexpected departure, it was important for the orchestra to take its time and understand very carefully how his successor could match the Wiener Symphoniker's personality. As such, the selection was less about names than about the art and the possibilities to bring to life shared visions. The performance of Gustav Mahler's First Symphony with Petr Popelka was memorable for many musicians - and, indeed, for me personally - suddenly we all felt that something unique was in the air. Working with Petr Popelka is inspiring, fruitful, always dialogic and characterised by an unwavering shared creative enthusiasm. I am glad that Petr Popelka will step into the future arm-in-arm with the Wiener Symphoniker. I am firmly convinced that we have found an exceptional artist in him, with whom we can further develop the distinctive spirit of the orchestra in the long term.
Popelka was born in Prague in 1986, and received training as a double bassist in Prague and Freiburg. He played as deputy solo bassist with the Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden under chief conductor Christian Thielemann. Popelka is Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also active as a composer.
Following his successful tenure as Assistant Conductor, the English Symphony Orchestra is very pleased to announce Michael Karcher-Young as ESO's Associate Conductor.
During his time with the ESO so far, he has fostered strong relationships with prominent British contemporary composers whose remarkable compositions are extensively performed and recorded by the ESO, gaining tremendous acclaim.
Michael Karcher-Young comments:
I'm absolutely delighted to be made Associate Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra. As their former Assistant Conductor, I have had the privilege of working with this extraordinary group and in particular being part of a series of remarkable recordings during the pandemic whilst everything else was being shut-down. As I step into my new role, I am honoured to lead such a special group of musicians.
Michael is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Beethoven Orchestra for Humanity, a new kind of professional chamber orchestra and immersive concert experience 'fusing topical talk and classical music for today's world'. He has won several prizes at the Leeds Conductors' Competition and the Ninth International Pedrotti Conducting Competition. Kurt Masur awarded Michael the London Philharmonic Orchestra Conducting Fellowship and, following this, he became the Charles Mackerras Fellow at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. Michael is a proud alumnus of Agnes Kory at the Béla Bartók Centre for Musicianship.
The classical music agency Intermusica is pleased to announce the signing of Australian conductor Nicholas Carter for worldwide general management.
Carter is Chief Conductor and Co-Operndirektor of Bühnen Bern, and received critical acclaim for conducting the North American premiere of Brett Dean's Hamlet as well as Britten's Peter Grimes at New York Metropolitan Opera. He is widely regarded as one of the leading opera conductors of his generation.
At the heart of Carter's tenure in Bern is the new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he will also conduct at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the 2023/24 season. He will conduct Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles this summer at Oper Zürich and next season at Oper Köln, and will make his debut at Oper Stuttgart with Das Rheingold. Recent debuts have included engagements at Wiener Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, among others.
Carter developed an extensive repertoire as Kapellmeister at Staatsoper Hamburg and Deutsche Oper Berlin, and later, as Chief Conductor at Stadttheater Klagenfurt and Kärntner Sinfonieorchester. Previously, he was Principal Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony and has since been in international demand to conduct symphonic repertoire, appearing as guest conductor with all leading Australian orchestras, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Bochumer Symphoniker, Seoul Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He has a close artistic relationship with composer Brett Dean, and has performed his symphonic works in addition to Hamlet (at the Adelaide Festival and in New York).
The Royal College of Music (RCM, London, UK) is delighted to announce that James Williams has been appointed as its next Director and will take up the post on 1 September 2024. James will become the eleventh Director of the Royal College of Music, succeeding current Director, Colin Lawson, who will retire from the role at the end of August 2024.
James Williams is currently Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), a position he has held since June 2016. During this time, he secured a new Associate Orchestra partnership between the RPO and the Royal Albert Hall. He also established a new home for the Orchestra at Wembley Park and oversees an international touring schedule that has involved the RPO performing across the world including major tours of Asia, Europe and the USA.
Prior to this, James worked for eight years at the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, responsible for the orchestra's UK concert and commercial programmes working with conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lorin Mazel and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Additionally, James led several major audience development and digital programmes including iOrchestra, a virtual orchestra project which introduced orchestral music to over two hundred thousand people in the South West of England.
With a background in music education and former positions including five years working at the Royal Northern College of Music as Programming Manager and a period running a regional branch of Yehudi Menuhin's inspiring music education programme Live Music Now, James now holds voluntary board positions with Metroland Cultures and music charity Mayfield Valley Arts Trust. He is also a member of the RCM Council and a board member of the Association of British Orchestras.
James Williams comments:
It is a great honour to lead the Royal College of Music into the next chapter of its development, building on the incredible successes to date and honouring the College’s founding principles and commitment to its students for widening access, advocating strongly for the value of music education and upholding the RCM's unrivalled reputation for artistic excellence.
Guy Black, Chairman of the Council of the Royal College of Music since 2017, comments:
We are delighted that James Williams will become the next Director of the Royal College of Music. This is a hugely exciting appointment following a global search. James is a much-respected member of the music industry and his expertise, international outlook, powerful advocacy and knowledge of the music profession will be of enormous benefit to our students and the RCM’s global reputation. I know James will support the RCM community - building on the outstanding achievements of Colin Lawson and his team - as a world-leading music educator, preparing our students for successful careers across the world.
Colin Lawson, current Director of the Royal College of Music, comments:
I wish James every success and look forward to working with him in the coming months to ensure a seamless transition. It remains an enormous privilege to serve the RCM as Director, a role I will have fulfilled for almost twenty years.
Posted 13 July 2023 by Keith Bramich