Withington ends 17 year tenure at Stavanger

Allan Withington will return to Manger Musikklag as he makes emotional break with the band he led to worldwide success.

  Allan enjoyed many successes with the band — from National titles to innovative concerts

Allan Withington has confirmed to 4BR that after 17 years he is to leave his role as Musical Director of Stavanger Band. From Autumn this year he will become the artistic leader of Manger Musikklag.

He told 4BR that it had been an emotional decision to make. "All good things come to an end, and I feel I have come full circle," he said.

New challenges

"After many years of travelling to Stavanger, and especially since my retirement from the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, accepting the position offered by Manger Musikklag gives me the chance of new and exciting challenges and also an opportunity to spend more time living and working in Bergen."

During his tenure Stavanger won the Norwegian National Championship in 2007, 2015 and 2020 (above) as well as four consecutive Siddis Entertainment titles between 2012-2015.

He also led them to success at the North American Championships in 2014 and French Open in 2015, whilst they also claimed five top-six finishes at the Europeans, including a trio of podium finishes.

4BR was informed that Allan will now concentrate on his forthcoming Conducting Summer School which will be held in Leeuwarden in The Netherlands between 8th-13th July.

Manger return

The news sees a return to Manger to renew an association that stretches back to winning the Siddis title in 1991 and National Championship in 2002, whilst he also led them to the World Music Contest crown in 2013.

He added: "It has been a fantastic 17 years where I have literally seen many of the members grow from talented youths to wonderful musical adults — and I will certainly miss them. We have also performed a huge amount of innovative projects together and I am immensely proud that they never shied away from experimenting and trying new programme ideas.

Everything I have done with the band will provide memories for life. I have so much respect and admiration for the players and administration and wish them all the very best for the future.

In the meantime, I am also looking forward to taking on the new position with Manger Musikklag."

Everything I have done with the band will provide memories for life. I have so much respect and admiration for the players and administration and wish them all the very best for the futureAllan Withington

Inspirational work

In response to the news Stavanger Band Chairman, Anders Rydberg told 4BR: "We wish to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to Allan for his tireless and inspirational work.

His loyalty and dedication has kept us chasing the highest possible standards in every aspect of what we do, and we are forever thankful for him leading us for the last 17 years."


He added: "This is the end of an era, but we look back on a fantastic journey including a long list of highlights from contests, concerts and innovative concepts throughout this period. A relationship of 17 years in top banding is remarkable and is a true demonstration of how well we have worked together. We wish Allan and his family all the best for the future."

4BR was informed that the process of selecting a new MD has already begun with the band able to offer an exciting schedule of projects including the Norwegian premiere of Gavin Higgins' 'Concerto Grosso for Orchestra and Brass Band' together with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in September.

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