New Appointments in Music in England and Scotland

Composer Robert Reid Allan

New Appointments in Music in England and Scotland

New roles at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Leeds International Piano Competition, Chetham’s School of Music, Sistema Scotland and Glyndebourne.

There have been a number of new appointments and announcements in music in England and Scotland in recent weeks. Here is a round-up of the news.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has announced Robert Reid Allan as Apprentice Composer-in-Residence for BCMG’s 2018–19 season. The role will see him work with the group over a period of ten months writing new works and immersing himself in the ensemble’s activities. A Scottish composer and pianist based in East London, Reid Allan is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Commenting on his appointment, he said, ‘I’ve already been fortunate enough to have had one commission from BCMG this summer, and I’m really excited to be writing two new pieces on this residency. The ensemble is so fantastically open-minded, forward-thinking, friendly and supportive and I’m very lucky indeed to have been given this opportunity.’ For more, visit

Adam Gatehouse has become the sole Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition following Paul Lewis’ decision to step down as co-Artistic Director to enable him to concentrate on his performing career. Gatehouse and Lewis were appointed in 2015 to succeed the competition’s founder Fanny Waterman. Following Lewis’ decision, Gatehouse said, ‘It has been a pleasure working with my old friend Paul Lewis on re-envisaging and transforming the competition these past three years. We will all miss the knowledge, passion, inventiveness and commitment that Paul has brought to the competition.’

In August, The Leeds announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Fiona Sinclair.

Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester has announced that Tom Redmond will succeed Stephen Threlfall as Director of Music from September 2019. A former member of the Hallé orchestra, French horn player and teacher Redmond has performed with ensembles including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia and London Symphony Orchestra. He is also a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a schools and family concert deviser. On his appointment, he said, ‘I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Director of Music at Chetham’s. The students and staff at the school are truly extraordinary and the school’s place at the heart of one of the most exciting musical cities in the world makes it a very special place to work and study.’ For more, visit

Ben Glassberg has been appointed Principal Conductor of the Glyndebourne Tour. In this role, Glassberg will conduct one production on each Glyndebourne Tour for the next three years. The first will be Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in 2019. Glassberg is currently conducting La traviata: Behind the Curtain for Glyndebourne Tour. His previous appearances for the company include one performance of La clemenza di Tito and two performances of Madama Butterfly at the 2017 and 2018 festivals. Glassberg said: ‘I’m incredibly excited to be continuing my relationship with Glyndebourne as Principal Conductor of Glyndebourne Tour. My first professional work as an assistant was at Glyndebourne, and it’s where many memorable and joyous moments in my career so far have taken place.’

In November, Glyndebourne also announced the four participants of its new Female Composer Programme.

Sistema Scotland has announced the appointment of Peter Nicholson as their new Director of Music. Nicholson succeeds Francis Cummings, who left to begin a role as Head of Junior Conservatoire (Music) at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Nicholson has been a part of the Sistema Scotland team since 2009, when he joined the organisation as a musician. He then went on to become Senior Musician before also undertaking the role of Team Leader at Big Noise Raploch. Commenting on his new role, Nicholson, said: ‘Since joining Big Noise Raploch nine years ago, I have developed huge admiration for the communities we serve and for the staff and young people who populate the Big Noise centres. To be able to help steer the future musical direction of an organisation I know and love is a massive honour and an exciting challenge that I can’t wait to begin.’

In other Sistema Scotland news, Benny Higgins has been appointed as Chairman. He succeeds Richard Holloway, Sistema Scotland’s founder, who retires this month. Higgins, a former Group Strategy Director for Tesco, is currently a strategic adviser to the Scottish Government for the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank.
On his appointment, Higgins said: ‘I am convinced from my own experience, growing up in both Govanhill, a community where Big Noise now works, and nearby Toryglen, of the transformative power of the arts and music, and the vital importance of ensuring they are inclusive and open to all… Sistema Scotland is his gift to our country and I will make it my mission to continue and grow this vital work for the benefit of some of our most vulnerable children, young people and communities across Scotland.’ For more visit

If you have news, please email editor [at] For appointments in music in Ireland, visit

Published on 6 December 2018

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