• Kathryn McDowell CBE DL

    Kathryn McDowell CBE DL

    Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra

    Kathryn McDowell joined the London Symphony Orchestra as Managing Director in 2005. Building on the Orchestra's strong artistic reputation she has enriched its artistic programme with outstanding artists and the integration of its Discovery programme into the heart of the LSO's residency at the Barbican Centre; extended its profile internationally through residencies at La Salle Pleyel in Paris, The Aix-en-Provence Festival, Lincoln Centre, New York, Suntory hall, Tokyo, and regular visits to Russia, China and India; developed its award winning recording label LSO Live into the most successful orchestra-owned label in the world; extended its Discovery programme at LSO St Luke's to become the leader in the field of Education & Community work; and built a more sustainable financial model for the organisation.

    Kathryn was elected chair of the ABO in November 2014.

  • Fraser Anderson

    Fraser Anderson

    Chief Executive, Scottish Ensemble

    Fraser Anderson has been Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble since 2014. During this time the organisation has grown and diversified its activities significantly. It now regularly collaborates with a wide range of artists and musicians from different traditions and backgrounds. Its ambitious projects are increasingly in demand across the UK and internationally. Alongside this successful performance series, a flourishing and integrated creative learning programme has seen the organisation more than double its reach.

    Prior to working at SE, Fraser held management positions at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and London Symphony Orchestra, and has also worked at the Donmar Warehouse. 

    His love of the arts began with an inherited collection of classical LPs, a musical education that eventually led to winning two scholarships to study cello at the Junior department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

    He graduated from university with a first class Arts Management degree. During his studies he undertook a series of internships at a broad range of London-based arts organisations including Universal Music and the Royal Over-Seas League.

    In addition to his current role at Scottish Ensemble, Fraser is a Board member for the Association of British Orchestras and also works on consultancy projects. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • Catherine Arlidge MBE

    Catherine Arlidge MBE

    Violinist, CBSO

    In January 2014 Catherine became the first violinist - and only the third ever recipient - of the Royal Philharmonic Society and The Association of British Orchestras’ Salomon Prize, a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding contribution of orchestral players to the UK’s musical life. ‘A true advocate of the modern orchestral musician’, she was awarded the prize for devising numerous projects which connect young people with classical music, for ‘her great skill for motivating and inspiring colleagues, and for engaging with her audience.’

    Catherine began playing the violin at the age of 5. At 13 she started to study with Sidney Griller, Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Manchester. In 1987 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and an Eastman Fellowship to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She completed a Masters degree there studying with Zvi Zeitlin. On her return to England she concluded her studies with Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music.

    In 1990 Sir Simon Rattle appointed Catherine Sub-Principal Second Violin of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has dedicated her professional life to performing, touring and recording with the CBSO, along side a busy programme of educational activities off the concert platform.

    Catherine is a regular presenter of the CBSO’s Schools Concerts and Family Concerts. In 2006 she created Notelets - a highly popular series of interactive performances for pre school children. She works regularly in schools, exploring creative music making and composition, through collaborations with teachers, actors, composers, visual artists, authors and dancers. Her string quartet, The Stringcredibles, are dedicated to inspiring creativity, supporting instrumental learning and extending the school curriculum.

    Catherine’s latest project, Clock onto Safety, a collaboration with DBS Law and Birmingham City Council, is a performance which uses music and CBSO musicians to teach young children to cross the road safely. In 2013 these performances were awarded a Jaguar Land Rover Business Champions for Arts and Business Award.

    From 2011-2013 Catherine was one of the two elected Player Trustees of the CBSO.

    She lives in Harborne, Birmingham with her husband Jonathan, and their 3 children, Katie, Lucy and Ben.

  • Andrew Connolly

    Andrew Connolly

    General Manager, BBC Concert Orchestra

    The BBC Concert Orchestra is one of the UK’s most versatile ensembles. Since 1952 it has been the house orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night. It gives frequent broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, including regular performances at the BBC Proms, and has performed on such recent BBC soundtracks as Africa and The Paradise. Throughout 2013, as an Artistic Partner Orchestra for the Southbank Centre’s ‘The Rest Is Noise’ series, the BBC CO has given concerts encompassing music from the First World War to Britain in the 1980s.

    Andrew has been at the BBC since 1996, enjoying roles as Rights Manager, Music and Commissions and Scheduling Manager for Radio 3 before arriving at the Concert Orchestra in 2001. His career started as Assistant to the Orchestra Manager and Librarian at the RPO in 1983 and during two spells totalling 13 years at the RPO Andrew started the RPO Pops (now Concert Orchestra), managed RPO Records (the first orchestra own label), ran the Crystal Palace summer concert season and co-ordinated hundreds of recording projects.

    Sandwiched between the RPO days was a spell as Orchestra Manager of Welsh National Opera. A period happily coinciding with Sir Charles Mackerras in top form and a chance for Andrew to work in his native South Wales.
    As a former horn player in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and Mid-Glamorgan Youth Orchestra, Andrew feels privileged to have had such rich opportunity to develop musically through the free instrumental tuition and residential courses available at that time. This enabled him to continue his music studies at Royal Holloway College (University of London) and discover orchestral management as a career.

    In 2012 Andrew was very proud to be named most improved player by Little Missenden Misfits Cricket Club. At 52 years old this was his first award for sporting prowess in any category. A weakness for proper beer, jazz trumpets, maps and observing his two sons getting into the same scrapes he did from 18 onwards occupies his leisure time. Andrew is married to Lydia Connolly, Joint Managing Director of Harrison Parrott.

  • Michael Eakin

    Michael Eakin

    Chief Executive, Liverpool Philharmonic

    Michael Eakin took up the position of Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in October 2008. Liverpool Philharmonic is one of the country’s leading music making and presentation organisations, with a world class symphony orchestra, an international concert hall, and a significant learning and engagement programme.

    Michael joined Liverpool Philharmonic from Arts Council England, with whom he had been Executive Director North West since 2001. In that position he led a growth in Arts Council funding across the North West, and worked closely with the Liverpool European Capital of Culture bid, planning, and delivery processes.

    Previously, he was Director of Arts and Leisure for Reading from 1997, with a portfolio including the arts and theatre services as well as libraries, museums and archives, sport and leisure, and tourism.

    Michael's initial career was in theatre management, in Hillingdon, West London, and then Reading. He worked for Reading Borough Council as Head of Arts and Theatres, where for several years he ran and programmed the major regional presenting theatre and concert hall, The Hexagon and led the establishment of the UK's major world music festival, the WOMAD Festival in Reading.

  • Peter Helps

    Peter Helps

    Chief Executive, Sinfonia ViVA

    Peter trained in hotel management and worked in hotels in Geneva, Toronto, Bournemouth and Brighton (narrowly missed being bombed there) before running off to join the 'circus' in 1985, when he managed theatres for English National Opera and Scottish Opera. Peter joined Viva in 1995. With colleagues he continues to redefine the role of the Orchestra and push the boundaries of what a creative musical organisation can be. Whilst ensuring concert giving of the highest standard Peter is also passionate about the role music can play in the development of the social and personal skills of participants in the Orchestra’s nationally acclaimed project work.

    Peter is a Board member of the Association of British Orchestras and Chairman of its Education Managers’ Group. Previously he was Chairman of the Association of British Orchestras' Chamber Orchestras Managers' Group. Peter led a successful bid with Derby LIVE and Marketing Derby to host the annual ABO conference in Derby. He is also a member of the Family Friendly Arts Campaign project board.

    He has been invited to join many Arts working groups in Derby where currently he sits as a member of the City’s Cultural Vision Group. Peter also sits on the LeicesterShire Music Hub Executive.

    In 2012 Peter led Viva’s role as the local content producer for Derby’s Olympic Torch Evening Celebration event in Darley Park.

    Peter was a founding Director of Cultivate, East Midlands' audience and organisation development agency, and served a full six year term on its Board. He participated in Capitalise, an Arts Council funded cultural leaders programme run in the East Midlands.

    Peter's interests in the arts are wide ranging including music, opera and theatre. Peter is an avid skier and tries to get as much time on the piste as his employer will allow!

  • Sophie Lewis

    Sophie Lewis

    Chief Executive, Sinfonia Cymru

    Sophie Lewis joined Sinfonia Cymru in 2006.  Since then she has overseen significant growth across all areas of the orchestra’s work. In 2011, Sinfonia Cymru became the first and only revenue funded chamber orchestra in Wales.  For this achievement, Sophie received the inaugural ABO/Rhinegold Orchestra Manager of the Year Award.  On behalf of Sinfonia Cymru, Sophie has developed strategic partnerships with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Young Classical Artists Trust and The Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport as well as launched a new model, website and brand for the orchestra.  Sophie is a Board member of the ABO and Presteigne Festival and plays an active role in various industry forums and events including Classical Next, ISPA and the British Council Transform Programme. 

    Sophie began her arts management career in 1994 at English National Opera as a busy Secretary to the General Director before moving on to the Arts Council of England to be an Assistant Officer in the Touring Department.  In 1998, Sophie left London to take up the post of Assistant Orchestra Manager at Welsh National Opera, remaining there until 2004 having become Orchestra Manager three years earlier.  Sophie holds an MA in Classics from Durham University.

  • Carol Main MBE

    Carol Main MBE

    Director, Live Music Now: Scotland

    Carol Main is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where she now lives and works as Director of Live Music Now Scotland and Live Music Now International, as well as classical music editor of The List, a music reviewer for the Scotsman and contributor to Classical Music Magazine and Music Teacher. Until last year, she was a long-standing Chair of Hebrides Ensemble, Scotland’s foremost contemporary music group, and is a member of the Board of Directors of St Mary’s Music School, as well as of the ABO. Carol was the founding Director of the National Association of Youth Orchestras, and established its Festival of British Youth Orchestras in Edinburgh and Glasgow between 1979 and 2003.

    She co-founded the European Association of Youth Orchestras and was a founding member of the European Union Cultural Forum. She was closely involved with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq’s visit to the UK last year. She has served on the Music Committee, Local Authority Partnerships, Cross Media and Arts and Social Inclusion Panels of the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) and was one of SAC’s first Specialist Advisors, She is a past Chair and Director of Enterprise Music Scotland and was Vice-Chair of Voluntary Arts Scotland for five years until 2008. She served almost 20 years as a Board Director of Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was awarded a Herald Archangel at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival.

  • Ginny Macbeth

    Ginny Macbeth

    Director, Macbeth Media Relations Ltd

    Ginny began working in music in 1978 when, as assistant to concert pianist Rosalyn Tureck, she spent 18 months on tour in Europe and the United States.  On her return to the UK, she joined Kaye Artists Management before helping to set up Grapevine Public Relations.  In 1986, Ginny left Grapevine to work in New York, where she set up a small agency promoting concerts at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, and working with artists including Nigel Kennedy and the National Orchestral Association.

    On her return to London in 1989 she set up Macbeth Media Relations – a specialist media relations company working closely with singers,musicians and composers, as well as international competitions, festivals, orchestras and opera companies.

    Working with organisations across Europe and the US, Macbeth Media Relations devises individual strategies for each of its clients working in close collaboration with management.    

  • Louise Mitchell

    Louise Mitchell

    Chief Executive, Bristol Music Trust

    Louise Mitchell is the chief executive of the Bristol Music Trust, an independent venture set up in May 2011 to drive forward music in Bristol, and to help secure a sustainable future for Colston Hall, the largest concert hall in the south-west of England.

    Previous to her appointment as the Trust’s chief executive in May 2011, Louise was the first ever director of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, an organisation set up in 2009 to develop opportunities arising from the award of the title City of Music by the Secretary General of UNESCO.

    She had previously been at the head of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for 13 years, where she l spearheaded the regeneration of two of Glasgow’s most revered venues, the City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket and nurtured the word famous Celtic Connections Festival.

    Louise has worked in arts management for over 20 years. She studied the University of St Andrews where she gained a masters degree, followed by a Diploma in Arts Administration from City University, London.

    Her first job in music was as an interpreter for the Hawick Pipe Band’s French tour, followed by a short spell as Assistant Manager of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble and five years as Concerts Manager of the London Sinfonietta, touring with the ensemble all over the world.

    After three years of freelancing, she became Assistant Director of the Edinburgh International Festival responsible for music programming. She returned to London as Music Programme Manager at the Barbican Centre, managing the relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra as orchestra in residence, and finally as Concerts Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra before moving to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall in 1996.

    Louise is a board member of Destination Bristol, a Trustee of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Vice Chair of British Association Concert Halls, and a past Board Member of the International Society for Performing Arts.

  • John Summers

    John Summers

    Chief Executive, Halle

    Born in Kent John studied at Trinity College of Music before freelancing as a cellist.  He was employed by the Royal Northern Sinfonia as player and manager, and appointed Chief Executive in 1992.  In this role he had central involvement in concept development and planning for the building now known as the Sage, Gateshead.

    John joined the Hallé as Chief Executive in 1999, where he has been involved in a number of changes and initiatives.  These include setting up the Hallé recording label, founding the Halle family of ensembles including the a Youth Orchestra, Youth Choir, Children’s Choir and Training choir, instigating the Halle Professional Experience Schemes and helping deliver a new rehearsal and recording facility for the Orchestra and its ensembles.

    John was a member of the Board of the Association of British Orchestras between 1991 – 8, serving three years as Chairman.  From 2003 – 2005 he was National Lead Advisor on Music to the Arts Council of England. He is a member of the Board of the Royal Northern College of Music and President of the Lakeland Sinfonia Concerts Society.

  • Matthew Swann

    Matthew Swann

    Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia

    Matthew has been Chief Executive of City of London Sinfonia since March 2012.

    City of London Sinfonia (CLS) is the Orchestra that promises to surprise and move you. We involve over 1 million people every year from all ages and backgrounds in life-enhancing music experiences to create an exciting and harmonious future together.

    CLS is currently enjoying a period of considerable development, with growing audiences through innovative performances such as the Orchestra’s CLoSer series, increased development income, appearances at major festivals, recordings on labels including Chandos, Hyperion, ACT and Signum, forthcoming international touring including Mexico and Japan, and the expansion of its Meet the Music education and well-being programme to over 12,000 participants every year.

    Before joining CLS, Matthew reintroduced classical music to the Roundhouse in Camden, North London, producing the Reverb and Voices Now festivals, and he remains Creative Director of Voices Now, one of the UK’s leading choral festivals. He was a Senior Associate with Liz Amos Associates, the specialist arts and charity executive search organisation, and began his career in executive search for the tech sector, before spending five years building corporate partnerships at the Barbican Centre. He studied music at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Northern College of Music, and was a member of the Holst Singers for over 10 years.