Latest Appointments in Music (December 2021)

Composer Errollyn Wallen has been announced as Artist in Residence with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Photo: Gaby Merz).

Latest Appointments in Music (December 2021)

A round-up of recent appointments including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Sing Ireland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Intermusica, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and TG4.

 Composer Errollyn Wallen has been announced as Artist in Residence with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The appointment was announced during a concert last month celebrating her work at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall. 

During this term, her work has been performed across the College’s music departments. Wallen spent time with students, including brass and guitar students, a session with the Diversity Advisory Group for Music, and a Q&A session with the Symphony Orchestra who then performed for her at an evening concert.   

‘Her residency is the start of a long journey together,’ said Director of Music Tim Rhys-Evans. ‘Errollyn is an artist that embeds our values as a College. She has changed the perception of what music means to society and we’re looking forward to her inspiring future work from our composers, and that our work will inspire her.’ 

Kevin Price, Head of Music Performance, added:

Communication is central to her work – engaging the audience, speaking directly to hearts and minds, and creating work that responds to the community and enhances it. Our job is to train professional listeners and Errollyn is the ultimate example of someone who has deep empathy and care, and that’s the influence and inspiration we want to bring to our students as they train to be the musicians of the next generation.

Wallen was the first black woman to have a composition performed at the BBC Proms, with her work further recognised in 2020 when she was chosen to rework ‘Jerusalem’ for the Last Night of the Proms. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama earlier this year and was one of the first guests on its 2020 Live Lockdown series. 


Sing Ireland has announced the appointment of Dr Jenny O’Connor-Madsen as the organisation’s new Artistic and Operations Manager. 

Formerly Music Education Partnership Support Manager with Music Generation, O’Connor-Madsen is a music educator, facilitator and project manager with an MA and a PhD in musicology from Maynooth University. Her doctoral thesis explored the role of women and music in nineteenth-century Dublin. She is the founder of the Women and Music in Ireland Conference series and has contributed to RTÉ Lyric FM documentaries on the subject. She is also currently co-editing a volume with Dr Laura Watson and Dr Ita Beausang that will be published by Boydell and Brewer.

In 2013, O’Connor-Madsen became the project manager for the RIAM Teaching Network, the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s online music education platform, and from 2014 to 2018 she held the role of Senior Examiner for the RIAM local Centre exams. She has also worked with Music Generation Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in March 2018 and moved to the role of Music Education Partnerships Support Manager in January 2020. This year, she was selected as a Cohort Member for the 2022 Global Leaders Program.

Commenting on herappointment, Dermot O’Callaghan, CEO of Sing Ireland, said: 

We warmly welcome Jenny to Sing Ireland at this pivotal time in the organisation’s growth. I am confident that her considerable skills, experience and talent will add great advantage to Sing Ireland as we demonstrate, through our work, the life-affirming joy and value of group singing.


The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has recently announced the appointment of two musicians: Felix Tanner to the position of Associate Principal Viola and Robert Anderson to Tutti Cello, both joining the orchestra in the new year.

Tanner joins from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where he has been Sub-Principal Viola since 2016. Originally from Helensburgh, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department, St Mary’s Music School and later the Royal Academy of Music in London with John White, Martin Outram and Katherine McGillivray. He has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia and has worked with contemporary artists such as Massive Attack and Jools Holland.

Anderson has regularly performed with the RSNO and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in recent years and has performed as Guest Co-Principal Cello with Opera North and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Originally from Glasgow, Anderson attended the RCS Junior Department and also studied there at undergraduate level with Robert Irvine and David Watkin. He later studied chamber music with Gábor Takács-Nagy and Günter Pichler and has performed with various chamber groups at festivals including Gstaad, Chamonix, Bach Lutry, Siena, and Mendelssohn on Mull.

Tanner will appear with the Orchestra as a regular guest for the next five months, before joining the RSNO full-time in March 2022. Anderson will join the RSNO as a permanent member from January 2022.

Commenting on his new appointment, Tanner said:

The RSNO was the first orchestra I heard live as a young boy, and I am delighted to be now joining its wonderful viola section. I am particularly looking forward to exploring the wide variety of exciting repertoire that the Orchestra plays.

Anderson said:

One of my first memories of live music is my mum taking me to hear Steven Isserlis play the Elgar concerto with the RSNO in the mid-90s, shortly after I’d started playing the cello at school. Twenty-something years later, I’m so happy to be joining the cello section of Scotland’s National Orchestra, and I’m looking forward to many great concerts and tours.


American conductor Ryan Bancroft has been appointed Chief Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning his tenure in the 2023/24 season. He takes over from Sakari Oramo, who stepped down as chief conductor earlier this year, having been in the role since 2008.

Bancroft’s first performance as Chief Conductor Designate will be during the Nobel Prize Concert on 8 December 2021. The concert will be available to watch worldwide via the Nobel Prize YouTube channel.

Bancroft made his debut with the orchestra in 2019, having won first prize and the audience prize at the Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen in the same year. He also currently holds the role of principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and won this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award for his work with the orchestra in the UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Bancroft said:

It’s incredibly difficult to put into words what it means to be appointed Chief Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra: moved, elated, overjoyed, and all other superlatives in between. This is an orchestra that knows how to set a gold standard of music-making and takes very seriously music’s ability to communicate to people like you and me; no moment is taken for granted. In my inaugural concert as Chief Conductor we will perform the prominent Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström’s seminal work, The High Mass, for the first time in the orchestra’s history. I know this will be the first of many memorable performances together, and I for one cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.


Classical music agency Intermusica has announced the appointment of Simon M. Eder to the new position of Managing Director, Business Development, beginning January 2022.

Eder will join Intermusica from Pentatone record label, where he has been working as the Managing Director since 2017, following nearly five years as Marketing Director with the label. During his time at Pentatone, the label received numerous awards including Label of the Year at the Gramophone awards. Eder co-founded the classical-only music streaming service Primephonic, the success of which led to its acquisition by Apple this summer. 


French new music group Ensemble Intercontemporain has announced the appointment of Pierre Bleuse as Music Director for a term of four years to commence with the 2023/24 season. He will succeed Matthias Pintscher who has held this position since 2013.

The French conductor is the Chief Conductor of Denamrk’s Odense Symphony Orchestra for the 2021/22 season, and is also the new Artistic Director of the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades (France).

Commenting on his appointment, Bleuse said:

I am extremely happy to be appointed as the Music Director of this iconic ensemble. Being at the heart of musical and artistic creation, working closely with composers and artists, is the dream of every musician and an incredible opportunity. I like to look to the future while avoiding the archaic pitfalls into which, too often, the musical world finds itself falling. Diversity in our programme must be a priority, on both the French and international stage. To do this, we must learn how to stimulate the curiosity of audiences by encouraging creative liberties, whilst also making it fit into the natural continuation of the musical heritage. Artists have a decisive role to play in shaping the world of tomorrow. It is impossible not to think of Pierre Boulez and his legacy as a composer, conductor, and writer, as well as of all the wonderful musicians who have followed in his footsteps. Having the opportunity to undertake these new challenges with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, its talented soloists and the entire team, is a new and wonderful adventure for me!


TG4, which has consistently broadcast a range of Irish traditional music programmes since it was founded, has announced the appointment of its first Archivist, Máire Aoibhinn Ní Ógáin

Ní Ógáin has worked with TG4 as Schedule Manager for over twenty years. She has previously managed archive developments and schemes and will continue to progress the station’s developments in the digital archive. She will start her new role in February.

Commenting on her appointment, Ní Ógáin said 

It is a privilege for me to take on this new role as TG4’s Archivist. The TG4 Archive is an important record of Irish history and a source of information that reflects the broadcasting heritage of TG4 and the development of Irish language broadcasting. There is a need to ensure access to the wealth of history, information, music and entertainment contained in the archive for our audiences. This material needs to be curated and preserved so that it is available to study and to enjoy.  My goal would be to find new ways to use the archive as a historical and creative resource, to foster national and international partners and promote the importance of television archives in general.


Singer and fiddle-player Eliza Carthy has also been announced as the new President of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. See further details here.

For November’s appointments, see here.

Published on 7 December 2021

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