Association of British Orchestras

Thorben Dittes

Chief Executive Officer,
Philharmonia Orchestra

Thorben Dittes joined the Philharmonia as CEO in August 2022.

From 2014-2022 Thorben was Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia & Classical Music Programme at Sage Gateshead. Creating collaborations, such as BBC Proms at Sage Gateshead and the After Dark Festival with BBC Radio 3, and developing strategic partnerships with organisations such as Streetwise Opera, Nevill Holt Opera, and Candoco Dance Company led to a significant broadening of both the classical programme at Sage Gateshead and the orchestra’s work. Alongside re-establishing regional performance programmes across the North East and securing major international touring opportunities, Thorben also devised a significant increase in RNS community engagement work, including the landmark People’s Requiem.

Previously, Thorben was Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble 2010-2014. His achievements for the Ensemble include development and delivery of a new strategic focus on cross-artform and cross-genre collaborative projects, increased international touring, as well as conceptualization of the innovative residency programme of regional work, combining on- and off-platform activity in cities across Scotland.

From 2008–2010 he was Artistic Planning & Projects Manager for Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra Ltd, working with Sir John Eliot Gardiner for the Monteverdi Choir and its associated orchestras, with a particular focus on international touring. He previously held positions at the Musicians Benevolent Fund, Association of British Orchestras, Royal Over-Seas League Arts, and British Youth Opera.

Thorben grew up in Germany and studied Arts Management at London South Bank University. He is on the membership committee for the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), served as a Director for the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH) and on juries for ECHO European Concert Halls Organisations, PRS for Music Foundation, Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal Over-Seas League. Creative Scotland selected Thorben for a three-year legacy fellowship with the International Society for the Performing Arts in 2012.

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Gateshead,
hosted by The Glasshouse ICM, from 5-7 February 2025.