London Philharmonic Orchestra Announces Leadership Changes

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The London Philharmonic Orchestra today announced the retirement of its Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Timothy Walker, and a restructuring of its leadership with the roles of Chief Executive and Artistic Director split into two distinct positions.

This new division of the roles of Chief Executive and Artistic Director is the result of considered analysis by the Board consisting of Player and Non-Player directors which concluded that the roles of Chief Executive and Artistic Director require distinct leadership to best meet the complex needs of a major arts organisation in the 21st century. David Burke, currently the Orchestra's General Manager and Finance Director, becomes Chief Executive as planned in the restructure, and a search committee is being formed to appoint a new Artistic Director, ensuring seamless continuity.

The Board began its deliberations on the restructuring process two years ago when Walker indicated he would step down on his 65th birthday. It was anticipated that Timothy Walker would continue to lead the Orchestra as the Artistic Director while David Burke would be promoted to become its Chief Executive. However, on reflection over the Christmas period, Timothy Walker decided to retire from his position of Chief Executive and Artistic Director as originally planned for personal and private reasons. He will leave the company on 3 June 2020.

Over the last 17 years, Timothy Walker has led the LPO to a position of undisputed international strength and high regard for its innovative and creative programming, strong administrative team and clarity of purpose in its education and community work. He will be much missed by the entire organisation.

Burke has written and delivered the Orchestra's last three business plans setting strategic aims and objectives covering all areas of its operations. Over the past years Burke worked closely with Walker to create a strong partnership that built strength for the future in many areas. By ensuring robust finances and creating exceptional programming they have enabled the LPO to fund and present ambitious projects such as Wagner's Ring Cycle and festivals such as The Rest is Noise and 2020 Vision.

Passionate about issues concerning diversity and access, Burke has played a significant role in developing the Orchestra's work in these areas throughout the organisation, as well as leading the organisation on widening audiences domestically and internationally, creating performance opportunities with new partners, and enabling the Orchestra to focus on digital creativity in order to enhance its core activity.

Victoria Robey OBE, Chairman of the LPO Board & Martin Hoehmann, President, commented:

"The London Philharmonic Orchestra has long been recognised as an innovative and forward-facing organisation with distinctive and adventurous programming. We have been fortunate for 17 years to have had Tim's strong leadership and internationally acclaimed artistic creativity at the forefront of our Orchestra. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his loyalty and his passion to drive the London Philharmonic Orchestra to ever greater achievements. We wish him well for the future. Equally, it is with great confidence that we welcome David Burke to the role of Chief Executive following on from his outstanding contributions as both General Manager and Finance Director over the last decade. Together, we will search across the widest international spectrum for an exceptional talent to take on the Artistic Director role. With David's leadership, we look forward to continuing to build an exciting and secure future for the LPO to share with our audiences worldwide."

Timothy Walker CBE AM, commented:

"It has been an honour and a privilege to lead this remarkable company. I wish to thank the players, board and management as well as our audiences, funders and donors for their tremendous support and adventurous open-mindedness as we shared our creative programming at home and abroad. I have been fortunate to have had many hugely rewarding relationships during this time including with the Chair, Victoria Robey OBE, our Principal Conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, many of the generous and talented players of the orchestra, as well as Guest Conductors and so many wonderful artists. It is with confidence, however, that I retire knowing that I leave this exciting artistic organisation in the excellent hands of Edward Gardner and David Burke."

David Burke commented:

"I am honoured to become Chief Executive of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It has been my pleasure to get to know this amazingly talented group of musicians and staff over the last decade. I care deeply about sharing their brilliance with as wide an audience as possible. I also want to pass on my personal thanks to Tim. The orchestra is in such a great place due to the care and commitment he has shown throughout his time with us. With so much good work being created by the LPO in concert halls, in the community and digitally, I'm excited to build on the work already done to further inspire both audiences and future musicians."

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