New Appointments in Music (June 2019)

David Young – new Chorus Master of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.

New Appointments in Music (June 2019)

Appointments at RTÉ, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network, Opera North, Northern Ballet, and St Canice's Cathedral.

RTÉ has announced David Young as the new Chorus Master of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir. The appointment is for three seasons from September.

Young is currently Musical Director of Reading Bach Choir, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir and the Stafford Choral Society, and Co-Director of vocal ensemble Reverie. He also works regularly with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. 

Young’s first concert as Chorus Master for RTÉ will be in October for Mahler’s Third Symphony under Jaime Martín.

Commenting on the announcement, Anthony Long, General Manager of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, said:

David made a striking debut with the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir earlier this year, preparing them for a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the National Concert Hall on Good Friday. He quickly established a great rapport with the singers, bringing knowledge and style as well as humour and charisma to his rehearsals. He joins us at a time of great opportunity and we look forward to working closely with him.

Young added:

I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking on this vital role within the RTÉ family. It was a real privilege to meet this extraordinary group of singers back in February, and it’s going to be a wonderful journey getting to know them better and building a musical identity together over the coming years.

For more, visit


Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network have announced three Musicians-in-Residence for 2019. The residencies provide opportunities for performers and composers to develop and showcase new work and cultivate new collaborations. 

Lara Gallagher is a composer, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist. Her residency will focus on the creation of a number of improvisational pieces exploring sounds in Booterstown in County Dublin.

Izumi Kimura is an improvising pianist and composer. She will explore the connection between environmental and musical sounds by creating field recordings and live music that interact. Her first concert takes place on 4 July when she will perform with violinist Cora Venus Lunny at DLR Lexicon.

Éamonn Cagney is a percussionist and composer. As part of his residency, he will create new musical pieces inspired by the folktale ‘Young Conall of Howth’, also known as ‘Eachtra Chonaill Ghulbain’.

The residencies will include a number of free concerts between now and December.

For full details, visit


Northern Ballet has appointed Jonathan Lo as its new Music Director. 

Lo studied at the University of Oxford and the Royal Northern College of Music. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra in China, a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, and Principal Conductor of the Haffner Orchestra, New Bristol Sinfonia and Manchester Chamber Choir. He made his conducting debut with Northern Ballet this year as Guest Music Director for the world premiere of Victoria, choreographed by Cathy Marston.

Commenting on his appointment, Lo said:

I am thrilled to join the Northern Ballet family as Music Director. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this wonderful company and I look forward to working with David Nixon and the excellent Northern Ballet Sinfonia towards an exciting artistic future.

For more, visit


Opera North has announced Garry Walker as its new Music Director and Antony Hermus as Principal Guest Conductor.

Walker is currently Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz. He will take up his new role in August and open Opera North’s season in September with a production of Martinů’s The Greek Passion. Commenting on the news, Walker said:

Opera is the ultimate team game, with so many individuals in so many differing disciplines coming together to contribute to the overall success of performances. I look forward to putting the music and the storytelling at the centre of what we do, and I hope to bring my energy and love for the dramatic power of opera to our audiences, both on and off the podium.

Hermus is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the North Netherlands Orchestra, a position he will retain. He will conduct one opera production each season with Opera North as well as symphonic concerts. He is scheduled to conduct The Marriage of Figaro in the 2019/20 season. Following the announcement, Hermus said:

As Richard Wagner said, ‘Music is the language of passion’, and I look forward to sharing this common passion for music and opera with all our fantastic singers, musicians and indeed the whole Company, working together to inspire our audiences to the maximum!

For more, visit


Bartosz Thiede has been appointed Director of Music of St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny and Choral Director of Kilkenny College.

Born in Poland, Thiede grew up in Northern Ireland. He studied organ at Clifton College, Bristol, and in 2014 won the Intermediate Category of the Northern Irish International Organ Competition. He subsequently studied at Exeter College, Oxford, with William Whitehead (organ) and Paul Spicer (conducting). He has performed on BBC Radio 4, accompanied St Paul’s Cathedral choir in London, and recently organised a tour of Malta and Sicily with the Exeter College choir. 

The choral tradition at Kilkenny cathedral stretches back to the thirteenth century. There is a historic link with Kilkenny College which was founded on the site in 1538. Speaking to the Kilkenny People, Thiede said: 

I know that the College, Cathedral, and myself are tremendously looking forward to nurturing the choral life of both of these ancient institutions and strengthening the link between the College and the Cathedral in enabling young people in song as well as living out the worship within its walls. Being a great believer in music’s ability to transform lives of young people, I am looking forward to consolidating all my skills in achieving that and in embarking on the many creative ventures to come. 

Thiede will take up his new position in August.

For further information, visit

In other news, Liam O’Connor has been appointed Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, John Carty has been appointed Traditional Musician in Residence in Sligo by Trad Ireland, and Kieran Hanrahan has been appointed Chair of the Culture Ireland Advisory Committee. For May appointments, see here.

Published on 28 June 2019


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