RSNO Chief Executive appointed to top role in the USA

Dr Krishna Thiagarajan appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Symphony

Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) begins the search for a new Chief Executive as the current incumbent, Dr Krishna Thiagarajan prepares to take up a new appointment as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Symphony, it was announced today (Monday 18 June). Thiagarajan will leave the RSNO in September this year.

Thiagarajan’s tenure has driven a successful partnership of organisational and artistic direction. Under his leadership the RSNO has increased the number of its performances, both at home and abroad, enjoyed the highest average audience figures for a generation, enjoyed year on year growth in earned and contributed income and developed its international reputation, notably through a discography which attracts recognition globally. During this time Thiagarajan has developed a partnership with Music Director, Peter Oundjian. Together Oundjian and Thiagarajan have built the Orchestra’s profile and reputation, made possible partly by the opening of the RSNO’s new premises in Glasgow, the RSNO Centre.

Supported by the Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund the RSNO developed its ambassadorial role in recent years, making its first visit to China, reintroducing the Orchestra to audiences in the USA and completing successful tours of Spain and central Europe. In terms of recordings, the RSNO has achieved the notable position of being one of the busiest recording ensembles in Europe, producing critically-acclaimed releases on the Chandos, Linn and Dutton labels.

Thiagarajan oversaw two new appointments to the RSNO Artistic Team last year. In October 2018 Thomas Søndergård will take over as Music Director, having been the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2012, and Elim Chan also begins her tenure as Principal Guest Conductor in the autumn.

The Orchestra’s CD, Astar, which was distributed by Scotland’s Registry Office to every child born in Scotland, approximately 85,000, was developed into an app last year in collaboration with the University of Abertay Dundee and distributed as part of the Scottish Government’s Baby Boxes scheme, an element of RSNO Music for Life, an initiative launched in 2016, which provides access to high quality music-making experiences for all, regardless of age or ability.

The RSNO’s recent achievements, both on and off the concert platform, have been made possible through continued support from the Scottish Government and an increasing number of private supporters. The RSNO has both sustained and grown vital relationships with corporate partners, trusts, foundations and individuals, welcoming new supporters to the Orchestra.

RSNO Chief Executive Dr Krishna Thiagarajan: “It has been an honour and a pleasure to be a part of an excellent team at the RSNO. The organisation is in strong artistic and administrative shape with new and growing audiences for its performances and engagement programmes across Scotland.  It has been one of our aims to increase the Orchestra’s presence on the international arena in recent years and to see the audience’s response to performances in the USA and Europe has been a personal highlight during my time here.

“The decision to leave Scotland was a very difficult one for me, as this is a terrific team of musicians, Chorus and Youth Chorus members, and a committed and highly capable staff. I would like to thank them, our audiences, supporters and our exceptional Board of Trustees for the support they have given to the RSNO. I would also like to specially express my gratitude to Dame Susan Bruce and Peter Oundjian whose dedicated support for me and the team made this recent period of extraordinary growth possible. I anticipate seeing great things from the RSNO in future.”

RSNO Board Chair, Dame Sue Bruce: “It has been a real pleasure working with Krishna throughout his tenure. The Orchestra is in very good form indeed. During Krishna’s time with the RSNO we have settled into our new purpose-built state-of-the-art facility in Glasgow, increased the frequency of our international touring, enjoyed successive outstanding Seasons, reaching a wider audience and improving our financial standing. We have been very fortunate to have him as our Chief Executive and he leaves this organisation in a very strong position for his successor. On behalf of the Board I would like to extend our thanks him for all he has done for the RSNO and I wish him every success in his new role."

The RSNO has begun the international search for a successor to Dr Krishna Thiagarajan and will announce interim arrangements in due course.

For more information on future RSNO events please visit