New Appointments in Music (January 2019)

Maia Cabeza

New Appointments in Music (January 2019)

Appointments at Wexford Festival Opera, Linenhall Arts Centre, Aurora Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

A round-up of recent news.

Wexford Festival Opera has announced Rosetta Cucchi as its new Artistic Director. She will take up the six-year position when the current Artistic Director David Agler finishes his tenure after the 2019 festival.

Cucchi began her career as a concert pianist having studied at the Rossini Conservatoire in Pesaro, DAMS University in Bologna and the International Piano Academy in Imola. Early on she took up a parallel career as an opera director, debuting at Teatro Bellini in Catania. From 2001 to 2015 she was Artistic Director of Lugo Opera Festival and from 2005 to 2018 she served as Artistic Director of the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma.

Her Wexford Festival Opera directorial debut came in 2004 with Braunfels’ Prinzessin Brambila. She has since directed three other operas at Wexford and will direct Adina by Rossini and La Cucina by Andrew Synnott as part of the 2019 festival.
Commenting on her appointment, Rosetta said:

I am happy and honoured to be appointed Artistic Director of the Wexford Festival Opera. I have a great passion for the festival and the people who make it possible. My vision will be to preserve its great tradition while, at the same time, bringing a touch of new breath to it. To quote Jonathan Swift, ’Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.’


The Aurora Orchestra in London has appointed Canadian-American violinist Maia Cabeza as its new Leader. Her first official concert will be at Kings Place on 5 April.

As a soloist, Cabeza has performed with the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Detroit Symphony. She was second-prize winner of the 2018 Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig and winner of the 2013 Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in Augsburg.

Principal conductor of the Aurora Nicholas Collon said

We all remember Maia’s first project with the group on tour in Spain, playing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde arranged for single instruments. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear up close her immaculate playing, so expressive, cultured and musical. … She is an extremely thoughtful musician who shares Aurora’s ethos in music-making, and who will bring a huge amount to the orchestra over the following years.


The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has appointed Alistair Mackie as its new Chief Executive. He will take up the role in April 2019.

Mackie joins the RSNO from London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, where he served as Interim Managing Director from August 2016 to March 2017, a member of the Orchestra since 1996 and most recently as Joint Principal Trumpet. He has also served as Philharmonia Chair twice from 2005 to 2011 and was elected for a third term in January 2016. 

In addition to his roles at the Philharmonia he has been Principal Trumpet with the London Sinfonietta since 2009 and Trumpet Professor with the Royal College of Music since 2007.


The Linenhall Arts Centre in Mayo has announced the appointment of Bernadette Greenan as Director. Greenan was Education Programmer and General Manager of the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin from 2015 to 2018, and, from 2011 to 2014, she worked as Projects and Events Manager for the Tigh Filí Cultural Centre in Cork. She will take up her new role in March 2019.


Richard Watkin has been appointed as Section Leader Trombone with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He was previously Principal Trombone with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and also worked as a freelance musician with a range of symphony and opera orchestras in London.


Finally, last week we published the news that Jaime Martín has been appointed as Chief Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Read our news item on his appointment here and listen to an interview on RTE Radio 1 with Martín below.


Published on 21 January 2019


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