Marshall Marcus, head of music at Europe’s biggest arts centre, has resigned from London’s South Bank after five fruitful years.
Marshall’s greatest achievement was to maintains the peace between four resident orchestras – LPO, Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – while bringing in high-calibre promotions like Daniel Barenboim’s Beethoven cycle, Gustavo Dudamel’s residency and the present focus on Pierre Boulez.
But he’s restless man, ready to move on. He has a long-standing relationship with José Antonio Abreu and el sistema in Venezuela and his next task will be to develop joint projects between the South Bank and the sistema. He will also head up a baroque music programme for the Simón Bolívar Music Foundation in Venezuela.
His timing is immaculate – ahead of the 2012 Olympic overkill, and the inevitable letdown that will follow. I wish him well.
UPDATE: If you read the South Bank press release, out this morning, you will be hard pressed to understand that Marshall is actually leaving. The clever smoothies have spun it to give the impression that he’s staying put forever. Read on: