Simon Webb appointed General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic
It has been announced today that Simon Webb will become the General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic. Webb will join the orchestra in March 2014 as the orchestra completes its survey of Strauss’ work in collaboration with the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, celebrating 150 years since the composer’s birth.
Taking over from Richard Wigley who has been at the helm of the orchestra for the past 10 years, Webb comes to Salford from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where he has been the Director of Orchestral Management since 2008. A former cellist, he was a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1996 to 2005 before joining Sheffield’s Music in the Round as Administrative Director and establishing its in-house Ensemble 360.
Passionate about music education, Webb played a leading role in the outreach work at the London Philharmonic Orchestra, worked with Arts Council England to develop orchestral provision in Yorkshire and the Humber and is on the board of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.
With experience both on and off the stage Webb’s thorough understanding of the orchestral sector complements the range of activities undertaken by the BBC Philharmonic from concerts throughout the North of England, regular recordings for BBC Radio 3, annual visits to the BBC Proms and a varied international touring schedule.
Announcing the appointment, Radio 3 Controller and Director of BBC Proms Roger Wright said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Simon to the BBC Philharmonic and the wider BBC performing group family. The orchestra is an integral part of BBC Radio 3 with many concerts broadcast live to our audiences in the UK and internationally. I’m looking forward to working with Simon across the BBC Philharmonic’s output including the orchestra’s regular appearances at the BBC Proms.’
Welcoming the news, Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North said: ‘Simon’s artistic credentials speak for themselves but what is also impressive is his commitment to spreading the message about music to harder to reach communities and children. The BBC Philharmonic is an important ambassador for the BBC throughout the region, and particularly in its Salford home. We look forward to working with Simon in this crucial area of BBC activity.’
Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Juanjo Mena, said: ‘I am so pleased to be working with Simon on new artistic ventures for the BBC Philharmonic. With his background as an orchestral player he truly understands the stimulation and challenges of orchestral life and I look forward to working together in this exciting next stage of the orchestra’s life.’
Simon Webb said: ‘I am delighted to be joining the BBC Philharmonic, an orchestra I have admired for some time and enjoyed hearing in Manchester and Sheffield in recent years. I am looking forward to continuing the impressive work of my predecessor, Richard Wigley, in developing the orchestra’s work across the region and particularly in its home city of Salford. The BBC Philharmonic has an important role to play within the BBC and on the international stage as one of the UK’s finest symphony orchestras; I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Juanjo Mena and this excellent orchestra.’
The BBC Philharmonic is supported by Salford City Council.