James Clark and Maya Iwabuchi appointed Leaders of the RSNO

Two of the UK's finest orchestral musicians commit to Scotland's national symphony orchestra

James Clark and Maya Iwabuchi have been appointed Leaders of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The appointments make them the nineteenth and twentieth Leaders since the Orchestra began in 1891, and the first time in the Orchestra's history that two musicians share the leadership of Scotland's national symphony orchestra.

James and Maya will be familiar to regular RSNO attenders. Scottish-born James was recruited as RSNO Principal Guest Leader, a newly-created position, in June 2010 but has now accepted the invitation to increase his commitment to the Orchestra – he will now appear with the RSNO for up to half of the orchestral year. James' position runs in tandem with his role at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO), where he has been Leader since 2005. James has previously held leader positions with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and more recently the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Maya has appeared with the RSNO as guest leader many times over the past year and has a wealth of experience as an orchestral and chamber musician. She has worked with James Clark for many years, leading the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1994. Maya has also been performing as a member of the Mobius Ensemble from 2004. She will be leading the RSNO next week for its Naked Classics concerts in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Alongside their performance duties James and Maya will play a role in the organisation's audition and appointment process, allowing the RSNO to benefit from their experience in the orchestral world.

RSNO Acting Chief Executive Kenneth Osborne:

The appointments of James and Maya are hugely significant and key to the RSNO's continued development. These outstanding musicians' track-records speak for themselves – they are two of the best orchestral musicians in Europe. Both James' period as Principal Guest Leader and Maya's as guest leader have made a major impact on the Orchestra and their leadership, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, will continue to bring concrete, tangible and satisfying results.

RSNO Leader James Clark:

It is a marvellous honour to be appointed the Leader of this exciting organisation. With Maya, whom I have known and worked with for many years, I see many opportunities waiting to be explored and hopefully our long experience as leaders will give us the chance to further grow the Orchestra musically and dynamically. I certainly look forward to carry on working with Stéphane Denève for his final year as RSNO Music Director and I welcome Peter Oundjian, with whom I have already enjoyed working, and who I know will be a source of inspiration to us and a great benefit to audiences across Scotland.

RSNO Leader Maya Iwabuchi:

The wonderful musicians and staff of the RSNO have made me feel so welcome as guest leader and in the past year I have been impressed with, and moved by, their pride and passion for the organisation. I particularly admire the RSNO's commitment in bringing new and younger audiences to the concert hall to experience the thrills of live performance. And I am especially pleased to work alongside Jim Clark again, with whom I've shared many invaluable collegial moments over the years. I very much look forward to my future with the RSNO.

Michael Elliott appointed new RSNO Chief Executive

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) announces the appointment of Michael Elliott as its new Chief Executive.

Mr Elliott has been Director of Culture at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in London since June 2008 and was formerly Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. He will take up the position with Scotland's national symphony orchestra on Monday 1 August 2011, succeeding Simon Woods, who assumed his new role as Executive Director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in April.

RSNO Chairman Brian Lang led the Search Committee:

It is with great pleasure that we announce Michael's appointment. His experience and knowledge of orchestra management and the wider cultural sector will be of great benefit to the RSNO. Michael will join the team in good time for the start of Stéphane Denève's final season as Music Director and will have the pleasure of working with incoming Music Director Peter Oundjian, creating a formidable partnership. Together they will deliver artistic excellence for the people of Scotland.

New RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:

I am delighted to accept the post of Chief Executive of an organisation of such musical stature and heritage. It is my aim to build on the recent successes of the musicians and staff under the leadership of Simon Woods and Stéphane Denève and to see the RSNO playing a key role in Scottish society, cultural life and education, and in the promotion of Scotland to the benefit of its trade, tourism and economy.

In 2001 Mr Elliott was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, driving the organisation's artistic and financial recovery and contributing to Liverpool winning European Capital of Culture for 2008. In 2006 he was seconded to the role of Associate Cultural Director for Liverpool Culture Company, leading the partnership of Liverpool's major cultural institutions which was successful in gaining significant additional national investment for the City.

His current post at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport involved senior responsibility for government policy, funding and relationships across the arts, museums, libraries, cultural property, heritage, architecture and design, royal parks and the Government Art Collection.

Mr Elliott currently also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors at the University of Wolverhampton and has previously served as Chairman of the Belgrade Theatre Trust and Deputy Chairman of the Sheffield Crucible Theatre Trust. He also served as a governor and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

Mr Elliott is a graduate of the University of Sheffield and has a son, Peter, and a daughter, Chrissie, with his wife, June.