British Orchestras elect new leader

Simon Webb has become the new Chair of the Association of British Orchestras

  Simon Webb takes on the new role

Simon Webb, Director of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, has been elected as the new Chair of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO). He succeeds Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

National body

The ABO is the national body representing the collective interests of professional orchestras, youth ensembles and the wider classical music industry throughout the UK. Its mission is to enable and support an innovative, collaborative and sustainable orchestral sector.

Simon Webb has been the Director of the BBC Philharmonic since 2014. Previously he was Director of Orchestral Management at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He is currently a governor of Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and chair of the Association of British Orchestras.


Speaking about the appointment, ABO Director Mark Pemberton said: "I'm delighted that Simon has been elected Chair of the ABO.

His experience as both a musician and manager will be invaluable in putting the ABO at the heart of strategies for sustaining and rebuilding the orchestral sector as we emerge from the pandemic."

His experience as both a musician and manager will be invaluable in putting the ABO at the heart of strategies for sustaining and rebuilding the orchestral sector as we emerge from the pandemicMark Pemberton

Challenging times

In response Simon said: "The work the ABO does on behalf of the UK orchestral sector is essential and greatly valued by its membership. I look forward to working with Mark Pemberton, his team and the ABO board to ensure the UK's orchestras remain fully supported during these challenging times and beyond.

Gavin Reid has chaired the ABO for the last three years and I thank him for his excellent leadership over this period."

4BR was informed that in addition to Gavin Reid, outgoing board members are Matthew Swann, Ginny Macbeth and Catherine Arlidge MBE. The remaining board members will conduct a Governance Review prior to new board members being elected in Spring 2021.

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