New Head Of Artistic Development & Programming

Posted on July 26, 2017

Manchester Camerata announce appointment of new Head of Artistic Development & Programming

Manchester Camerata announce the appointment of James Thomas as their new Head of Artistic Development & Programming. James joins the orchestra from the award-winning Sinfonia Cymru, and takes up his position on 31 July 2017.

As Head of Artistic Development & Programming, James will work very closely with both the orchestra and a new set of Artistic Partners, led by Gábor Takács-Nagy. James will be responsible for building on the orchestra’s recent successes as well as increasing their international profile and reputation as one of Europe’s finest ensembles.

James, who studied bassoon at the RNCM and graduated in 2009, joins us from his position as General Manager of the award-winning Sinfonia Cymru.

During his time as General Manager of Sinfonia Cymru, the orchestra won the Cardiff Life Award for Outstanding Arts Organisation in March 2017. James led the pioneering Curate initiative, through which musicians develop and programme their own project ideas; established a partnership with Vibrate! Festival in Romania that led to the orchestra playing three concerts at the 2017 festival, including a performance in a clay court tennis arena alongside Romanian tennis stars; a national tour and imminent CD recording of Birdsong – Cân yr Adar, a collaborative project with Gwilym Simcock and Kizzy Crawford that fused jazz, soul-folk and classical styles in a bilingual concert of new songs featuring visual art projections; and has worked with artists as diverse as Bryn Terfel and Sting.

James said: ” I am thrilled to be taking up this role with such an innovative and creative orchestra as Manchester Camerata.  I very much look forward to working closely with the team as they build on their current success of being Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble of the Year 2017 and achieve new creative highs.”

James will lead on a number of international relationships as well as important partners in Manchester, including HOME and Bridgewater Hall. His appointment is part of the Camerata’s continued vision to redefine what an orchestra can do, and he joins at a very exciting time for the organisation.

Bob Riley, Manchester Camerata CEO said: “Performing to 150,000 people each year, Manchester Camerata is an ambitious and creative orchestra. We have a bold artistic vision and extensive plans for future growth and are extremely fortunate to have James join our team at this exciting period in our development.”

The orchestra opens its 2017/18 season on 1 September with Pinchas Zukerman, kick starting an innovative and collaborative approach to creating and producing music. Founded in 1972, Manchester Camerata has had a busy and successful year with a recent office move to Old Granada Studios, award wins including ABO Orchestra Manager of the Year and UK Ensemble of the Year (RPS Music Awards), and opening the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury with Hacienda Classical.