New Appointments and Awards (June 2020)

Alpesh Chauhan is the new Music Director of Birmingham Opera Company (Photo by Patrick Allen).

New Appointments and Awards (June 2020)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards at Liverpool Philharmonic, Universal Music Group, Birmingham Opera Company, Poetry Ireland, and Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble.

Birmingham Opera Company has announced the appointment of Alpesh Chauhan as its new Music Director, starting on 1 July 2020.

Chauhan studied cello at the Royal Northern College of Music, subsequently completing a Master’s Conducting course. He was Assistant Conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra until 2016, and has also worked as Principal Conductor with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma. 

Commenting on his appointment, Chauhan said: 

It’s a huge privilege for me to take up the post of Music Director at the Birmingham Opera Company. Following the success of last year’s project – Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk – I’m particularly excited to work more alongside Graham Vick – one of the world’s greatest opera directors. It’ll be an honour to stand at the front of this special organisation which combines its massed forces to be a shining beacon for Birmingham. Growing up in Birmingham gave me the best of musical starts – being immersed in a city of culture at the highest level – and I’m now extremely happy to be a regular contributor to the city’s glowing cultural output. I am especially delighted to be a part of an organisation such as BOC which constantly thinks outside of the box with its totally immersive performances, successfully broadening the opera audience.

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Liverpool Philharmonic has announced the appointment of Domingo Hindoyan as its new Chief Conductor, commencing in September 2021. Hindoyan will replace Vasily Petrenko, who will take on the role of Conductor Laureate in 2021. 

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Hindoyan began his musical studies as a violinist in the El Sistema programme. In 2013 he became first assistant to opera conductor Daniel Barenboim at the Deutsche Staatsopera Berlin, and he is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Commenting on the news, Hindoyan said:

An orchestra is a fundamental ambassador for the arts, and together our priorities will be to preserve the great heritage of the music we perform, welcome audiences with unprecedented sounds, and build the future for new generations with fruitful educational projects. I am thrilled to be the new Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and know that together we will lead a new chapter in its musical history.

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Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced that Virgin EMI will be renamed EMI Records, and that Rebecca Allen, will be the new President. 

Allen is taking over at EMI Records after over twenty years of working at UMG, the past three as President of Decca. She studied at Trinity College of Music, London, and joined Universal Music’s UCJ division in 1999 after starting her career at the BBC. In 2012, she became General Manager of Decca Records, and in 2017, she was promoted to President. 

Allen says: 

Being asked to reimagine one of the UK’s most important record labels is an incredible opportunity, as is the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative artists.  Working with artists, and finding and developing the talent of the future, is what drives me and I can’t wait to get started with building on what the brilliant Virgin EMI team have already achieved. 

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Poetry Ireland has announced Niamh O’Donnell as its new Director. She will take over the position from Maureen Kennelly in mid-August 2020, leaving her previous position as Artistic Director of Mermaid Arts Centre in County Wicklow.

O’Donnell has over twenty-five years of experience in the arts sector in Ireland, having worked with organisations such as Project Arts Centre, where she was Executive Producer and General Manager, Black Church Print Studio, Gallery of Photography, and Arthouse Multi-Media Centre. She is also currently Chair of the Board of Dublin Fringe Festival. 

Commenting on her new appointment, O’Donnell said: 

It is an incredible honour to be given this opportunity to work with the team in Poetry Ireland, and to play a part in further enhancing its contribution to the image, reputation, health and cultural wealth of the country.  

We live in such uncertain times.  All over the world, artists have taken to social media to connect with and console us. In Ireland, during this current crisis, our politicians have drawn repeatedly on the strengthening words of our poets, while our poet-president has written a poem of reassurance for his citizens. Poets, as artists, are noble observers. In the face of uncertainty, art offers potential paths through difficult and complex issues. In return, we must ensure we fully value our artists. 

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Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble has announced the recipients of its Peter Rosser Composition Award: Samantha McCoy for her work Cai Susah, Anita Mawhinney for her work Dark Measures, and Kevin Terry for Coil Through Grass. The composers will each receive a cash prize and have their compositions workshopped and recorded by the ensemble. 

The Peter Rosser Composition Award was established by Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble and the Peter Rosser Foundation in 2016 in memory of the late composer and writer Peter Rosser (1970 – 2014).

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Published on 17 June 2020

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