Two New Year appointments to the RSNO

Image: New Principal Timpani Paul A Philbert (image ©Eric Richmond) & Associate Principal Bassoon Luis Eisen

Scotland's national orchestra recruit new Principal Timpani and Associate Principal Bassoon

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed Paul Philbert as its new Principal Timpani and Luis Eisen as Associate Principal Bassoon.

London-born Philbert, who studied at Purcell School and Trinity College of Music, joins from the Orchestra of Opera North where he has been Principal for the past three years. Prior to this he was a founding member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Eisen joins from the Staatsorchester Oldenburg where he has been Principal Bassoon since 2014. He has also performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and many of the professional German ensembles.

Paul Philbert succeeds former RSNO Principal Timpani Martin Gibson who retired after 36 years' service in February 2017, and Luis Eisen replaces former Associate Principal Bassoon Rosina Alter, who departed the RSNO in November 2016.

New RSNO Principal Timpani Paul Philbert: : "I couldn't be more honoured and delighted to be joining such a wonderful and welcoming ensemble. The warmth of the RSNO made me feel at home instantly, and I look forward to many years of magnificent music-making with this marvellous orchestra!"

New Associate Principal Bassoon Luis Eisen: "I'm incredibly happy to join the RSNO - from the first moment I felt a special connection to this very passionate orchestra. I very much enjoyed the performances in my trial period and I am absolutely thrilled to become a member of this prestigious ensemble."

RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian: "It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointments of Paul and Luis to the RSNO. Their musicianship and personalities make a perfect fit for us and I look forward to working with them. Furthermore, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to Martin and Rosina for each of their many years of dedicated service."

The RSNO has made several key appointments recently, including Leader Sharon Roffman, who joins the Orchestra next month, Andrew McLean as Associate Principal Horn, Peter Dykes as Associate Principal Oboe, Lena Zeliszewska as Associate Principal Violin, Principal Trumpet Christopher Hart and Principal Horn Christopher Gough.

In May, it was announced that Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is to succeed Peter Oundjian as RSNO Music Director at the close of the current Season. Søndergård has been the RSNO's Principal Guest Conductor since 2012. In June, Elim Chan was appointed as Principal Guest Conductor and will conduct her first concerts in-post in autumn 2018, details of which will be announced in March.

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