RSNO Chief Executive appointed to top post at ABRSM

Michael Elliott will head the leading authority on musical assessment, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, from 2015

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) today announces that, following his appointment as Executive Director of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Michael Elliott will leave his post as Chief Executive of the Orchestra in January 2015.
Elliott’s tenure has witnessed a successful partnership of organisation and artistic direction. Varied and interesting seasons of both established and more novel programmes have been encouraged under the musical direction of Peter Oundjian. These have ranged from an acclaimed performance of Mahler Symphony No8 as the climax of 2013:14 Season to a continuing exploration of the works of 20th century American composers. Their collaboration has ensured that the Orchestra’s reputation for bringing the highest quality of music and musical performers to Scottish audiences has been maintained and enhanced. A recent comment from a music critic described the Orchestra’s performance as, “… the finest I have heard in many years. Absolutely everything was spot on...”
Elliott’s leadership has been marked by major achievements for the Orchestra and has laid the foundations for future important developments. His vision of an RSNO that should reach a wider and more diverse public has met with success. The Orchestra’s CD, Astar, was distributed by Scotland’s Registry Office to every child born in Scotland, approximately 85,000, coinciding with the Year of Creative Scotland (2012) and a new engagement strategy is reaching 50,000 young people per school year. The Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund enabled the organisation of a highly successful tour of China led by Peter Oundjian in his first season. A new strand of ‘Folk, Film and Festive’ themed programmes has increased and created a set of more diverse audiences. The Orchestra’s programme of regional touring has been expanded. Examples of the RSNO’s expanded range of partnerships include joint ventures with Classic FM, the National Trust for Scotland, Glasgow Airport and the Celtic Connections festival.
Of fundamental importance has been the maintenance of highly positive relationships with funders and supporters. The RSNO’s achievements, during the last three years, have been made possible through continued support from the Scottish Government and, crucially, an increasing number of private supporters. The RSNO has both sustained and grown vital relationships with corporate partners, trusts, foundations and individuals, introducing new donors to the Orchestra. The creation and funding of the new home for the Orchestra in new build at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will remain a milestone of the Elliott administration.
Announcing his departure RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott said:

Scotland’s National Orchestra is in excellent musical and organisational shape with new and growing audiences for its performances and engagement programmes across Scotland. It will be a considerable wrench, therefore, for me to leave this fabulous team of musicians, Chorus and Youth Chorus members, and staff at the end of the year at the very moment they move into their magnificent new home. I thank them, our audiences, funders, donors, sponsors, and our exceptional Board of Trustees for the support they have shown for the RSNO throughout my period as Chief Executive. It continues to be a tremendous privilege to serve the RSNO and Scotland and I will always remain an enthusiastic ambassador for this great Orchestra and nation.

RSNO Chair Brian Lang said:

Michael Elliott has been a highly successful Chief Executive for the RSNO. His period in office has seen the growth in the size and diversity of audiences, artistic success, and increasing support from funders and supporters. He has made a substantial impact on planning for the new home that will replace Henry Wood Hall. As we approach our 125th Anniversary, the Board is grateful to Michael for all he has done to put the Orchestra in good shape for the future. We will miss him, but wish him well in his new venture. A recruitment process is already underway to find his successor.