Meet James Williams: the RPO's new MD

James Williams

Earlier in our milestone year, we welcomed James Williams as our new Managing Director. Hannah Nepil caught up with him in a recent phone interview to find out more about how he’s settling in and future plans for the organisation.

James Williams sounds surprisingly relaxed. Perhaps, after only a couple of months as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Managing Director, the stress of the role hasn’t fully set in. Or perhaps he is just concealing it. After all, as he points out, it takes a lot of work ‘to get under the skin of these big, complicated organisations. You have to do a lot of listening to people to get a feel for the culture and the organisation’s values.’

Ian Maclay: Reflecting on over four decades

Ian Maclay

In a phone interview with Hannah Nepil, prior to his retirement last month, Ian Maclay reflects on his many decades of dedication and hard work as Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

He first arrived in 1972, when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was only twenty-five years old, and there was no shame in having excessive facial hair. Now, in the ensemble’s 70th Anniversary Year, Ian Maclay is retiring as its Managing Director. How does he feel? ‘It will be like cutting off my right arm,’ he says, ‘but it was always going to be difficult. And I wanted to go before the players were muttering in corners, and saying “Oh blimey, will he never go?”’ He laughs, ‘or perhaps they already are.’

A conversation with Vasily Petrenko

This month, Vasily Petrenko (‘a conductor of crisp technical assurance and interpretive depth’ – San Francisco Chronicle) makes his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. Having worked with many of the world’s finest orchestras as guest conductor, Petrenko now looks forward to performing with the RPO: “It will be a great pleasure and a big honour for me. It’s the only big London Orchestra which I haven’t performed with yet.”

STROKESTRA: Driving rehabilitation work with group creative music-making

STROKESTRA is a pioneering collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and  Hull Integrated Community Stroke Service (HICSS) which uses group creative music-making to drive patient-led rehabilitation work in stroke survivors and their carers.

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