Royal Philharmonic Appoints New Managing Director

By Francisco Salazar

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed Sarah Bardwell as its new Managing Director.

Bardwell is the Executive Director of Britten Pears Arts and she was the CEO of the Britten Pears Foundation. A music graduate, she undertook a mid-career, year-long arts leaders fellowship at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and has worked at the Royal Albert Hall and the English National Opera as a fundraiser.

In a statement, Andrew Storey, Chair of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) said, “After a thorough international search and selection process, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to be welcoming Sarah to the RPO’s leadership team at a hugely exciting time in the Orchestra’s history. In recent years, the Orchestra has made significant progress in broadening and diversifying its audience, whilst furthering its artistic ambitions with Music Director, Vasily Petrenko.”

He added, “As the Executive Director of Britten Pears Arts – and with previous experience spanning Handel Hendrix House in London, the Royal Albert Hall, and English National Opera – Sarah will bring to the RPO a proven track record and outstanding critical thinking. She displays leadership skills that are dynamic whilst also being engaging and fully inclusive – important qualities which reflect the RPO’s core mission.”

Meanwhile, Bardwell added, “I am excited to be joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as Managing Director and to be able to build on the incredible work that James Williams, his management team, the musicians and the staff have done over the last eight years. I am passionate about orchestral music and delight in the variety and quality of the work that the RPO undertakes on the concert platform, in the recording studio and in the areas of education and health. This is a vital and vibrant organisation and I am looking forward to working with the players, management, staff and supporters to continue the RPO’s mission to be a leading orchestra of excellence and inclusivity.”