Chandler Switches Ship

Bill Chandler, who has moved from the front desk of the first violins to senior management roles in the last six of his 26 years with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, has been appointed to the post of Orchestra Director with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The BBC CO played at the Proms on Saturday, with a concert of music from the Golden Age of Broadway, and returns in September with two programmes of British film music and a score by Philip Glass. Its versatility extends to live versions of Jess Gillam’s This Classical Life radio show and Elizabeth Alker’s Unclassified, as well as regular involvement with the London Jazz Festival.

The Concert Orchestra, which is often seen as the most vulnerable of the BBC’s stable, serves two masters on the network, with commitments to both BBC Radio 3 and Radio 2, where its role as the house band for Friday Night is Music Night dates back to the days of the “Light Programme”.

Currently an associate ensemble at the Southbank Centre in London, it was announced earlier this year that the BBCCO would be relocated “beyond the M25”, although its precise new home has yet to be revealed, with speculation including the broadcasting organisation’s MediaCity in Salford, already home to the BBC Philharmonic.

Bill Chandler joined the RSNO from the Houston Symphony Orchestra, having started his career in Florida. He took up the post of Director of Learning and Engagement at Scotland’s National Orchestra while still maintaining his playing position before moving to management full time as Director of Concerts and Engagements. During the interregnum between the departure of Krishna Thiagarajan and the appointment of Alistair Mackie he served as co-chief executive of the orchestra.

He said yesterday: “It is an honour and privilege to join the BBC Concert Orchestra at such an important time in its history. The BBC CO is unique in the music world, renowned for its superb playing, versatility and relevance, all key traits in an ever-changing world. I look forward to working closely with this fantastic group of musicians and staff as we explore this exciting new chapter together.”

In a message to RSNO musicians and supporters chief executive Alistair Mackie said: “Bill has proved himself to be the most passionate campaigner for classical music being open and accessible to all. He has always been a popular and respected member of the Scottish musical community and will be greatly missed by all.

“I know he goes to the BBC Concert Orchestra at a crucial point in their life and I look forward to watching this unique British institution develop and grow under his leadership.”