James Murphy appointed as Chief Executive of the RPS

04 Apr 2018

James Murphy has been announced as Chief Executive of the Royal Philharmonic Society. He joins the RPS in the summer, taking over from Rosemary Johnson who is stepping down after twenty years.

James Murphy is currently Managing Director of Southbank Sinfonia, the orchestra that provides graduate musicians with a much needed springboard into the music profession. Under James’s artistic and executive leadership since 2011, the Sinfonia has enjoyed a period of noted prosperity and growth. He is responsible for planning and programming over 70 concerts annually, instigating the orchestra’s acclaimed role centre-stage in the National Theatre’s Amadeus, creating partnerships with organisations including Southbank Centre, Notre-Dame de Paris and Sir Nicholas Hytner’s Bridge Theatre, establishing the Southbank Sinfonia Foundation to safeguard the orchestra’s long-term future, and championing marginalised female talent (50% of Sinfonia guest conductors are now female and music by over 20 female composers is programmed in 2018). He has previously worked at the National Youth Orchestra, the Royal College of Music, and has commentated on live TV broadcasts of the BBC Proms.

John Gilhooly, Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society comments: “James comes to the Royal Philharmonic Society with impeccable musical, charity and fundraising credentials, and his experience of working with young music professionals and commitment to quality music making for the widest possible audience chimes with the RPS’s own long-standing work in these areas. He inherits a Society that is full of energy and ideas, and we are very much looking forward to working with James to ensure an invigorating future for the RPS.”

James Murphy comments: “It is a tremendous honour to take on this role. In 1813, the founders of the Philharmonic Society set out to make a case for why classical music belongs at the heart of everyday life. That same conviction has driven all my work with young musicians. As Chief Executive of this venerable institution, I look forward to working with colleagues sector-wide to champion the enduring power and worth of classical music, generating fresh recognition and pride nationally and beyond for all that classical musicians brilliantly do.”

OUR MEMBERS

George Benjamin, composer, conductor, teacher, programmer: awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 2011.

DID YOU KNOW?

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, commissioned by the Society in 1825, is still the most requested work on the BBC's Desert Island Discs.