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Philharmonia announces governance restructure

Portrait of Lord King of Lothbury

The Philharmonia Orchestra today announces a major restructuring of its governance model, implementing a plan that has been developed over the last two years, following a substantive governance review and consultation with Members of the Orchestra and Trustees of the Philharmonia Trust.

Philharmonia Ltd (the orchestra) and the Philharmonia Trust (the charity which holds the Philharmonia’s endowments) have agreed to merge, following overwhelming ratification by members of both bodies. The changes went into effect on midnight on 31 March 2020. The result is a unified, streamlined structure which enhances the self-governance model that has defined the Orchestra since it became owned by its player members in 1964.

Philharmonia Members will represent a majority of the newly constituted Board, and the elected leader from the player group will now become the President of the Philharmonia. The position of Chair will be held by a non-player. The Chair, President and Chief Executive will be at the core of the Orchestra’s leadership.

From summer 2020, Philharmonia Ltd will be chaired by Lord King of Lothbury (pictured), Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013.

Lord King said: “I am deeply honoured to be asked to serve as Chair of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Despite present uncertainties, the future of the Orchestra is bright. With a new management team and a new Principal Conductor I am confident that the Orchestra will scale even greater musical heights.

“It will be a daunting task to follow Saul Nathan, and I am very pleased that he has agreed to continue until circumstances permit us all to return to something closer to normal.”

Saul Nathan, Chair of the Philharmonia Trust and inaugural Chair of the Board commented: “In partnership with the players, over the last two years we have designed a bespoke model which marries the best elements of self-governance and stewardship. Together with the formation of a new Development Board, these changes will create enduring opportunities for alignment, resilience, diversity and innovation. I want to thank Michael Fuller, Interim Managing Director, and Victoria Irish for their ceaseless endeavour in achieving this excellent outcome.”

Victoria Irish, 1st violin and the first member of the Orchestra to take up the President role, said: “A piece of history is being made with the largest structural change in the Philharmonia for over 55 years. I am genuinely proud of, and excited by, the steps we have taken to allow us to preserve our identity as a self-governing orchestra while significantly strengthening our model. I am very excited and pleased to be taking on the new role of player President.”

Julia Zilberman, Board member, said: “A newly formed Development Board will work closely to support the Development Department to build on strategies for operational and tactical engagement with major donors, corporations, Trusts and Foundations. Bringing the two charities together will allow for an integrated approach to fundraising with singular clarity and purpose.”

From September 2020, the management of the Philharmonia will be led by Alexander Van Ingen, who joins the Orchestra as Chief Executive from Cambridge-based period-instrument orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, where he has been Chief Executive since 2017. Prior to that he was an Executive Producer and A&R lead at Decca Classics for five years, working with artists including Daniel Barenboim, Nicola Benedetti, Janine Jansen and Leonidas Kavakos.

Alexander Van Ingen said: “I am delighted to welcome Lord King as the Philharmonia’s new Chair, bringing with him a wealth of expertise and experience. I’m very pleased to be joining the Philharmonia within a newly aligned, strong structure; and working with an exciting, dynamic new Principal Conductor Designate in Santtu-Matias Rouvali. The challenges of the coronavirus outbreak demonstrate just how important the Philharmonia’s sector-leading digital innovation programmes are: these, along with the Philharmonia’s national footprint, make it a symphony orchestra for the 21st Century.”

The Philharmonia Orchestra is committed to using these governance and leadership changes as a springboard to strengthen its long-term financial and artistic sustainability, and increase the diversity of its board of trustees, membership and workforce.

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We are pleased that the Philharmonia Orchestra has completed the merger successfully and look forward to working productively with the new board, chair and CEO.”

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For comment, interview and image requests, please contact:

Tim Woodall, Marketing Director
tim.woodall@philharmonia.co.uk
07500 006 335