Joe Duddell joins Manchester Camerata non-exec board

Manchester-born composer, arranger and conductor Joe Duddell has been appointed as a non-executive board member at Manchester Camerata, the orchestra officially announced yesterday.

Duddell, who studied music at Salford University and later schooled with Steve Martland at the Royal Academy of Music, is a name familiar to many beyond the core classical music sector, thanks to several high-profile collaborations with non-classical artists and a number of projects undertaken for a range of pop-led concerts, events and platforms.

In 2012 he was appointed composer-in-residence at the annual Wales-based Festival No. 6, creating the UK’s first pop festival residency. At the festival this September he and Manchester Camerata will present new work ‘Bowie Reimagined’.

Prior to this, Duddell – who is published by Schott Music – had been commissioned twice by BBC Philharmonic Presents… to produce crossover programmes for both BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music. He currently holds a post as Professor of Music at Bath Spa University.

Manchester Camerata is currently gearing up to perform a sell-out series of Hacienda Classical shows at venues around the UK, and is also developing its international touring programme. Speaking of the appointment this week, board chair Judith Watson said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Joe Duddell onto the Camerata board. His artistic talents and experience will be a great addition to the team at this exciting time for the organisation.’

Duddell’s history of cross-discipline collaboration will doubtless be of great benefit to the Camerata, which has previously worked with such international stars as Arvo Pärt and Martha Argerich, and will be looking to foster a variety of equally fruitful relationships in future. The orchestra also focuses part of its programme on work produced in and for the local community, as well as partnering with Manchester University to playing a central role in ongoing world first research into dementia.

Duddell himself added: ‘It is an honour and pleasure to join the board of the prestigious Manchester Camerata. The orchestra is in an exciting phase, engaging a wider audience and redefining what an orchestra is and can be to the Northwest and beyond. I look forward to working with the orchestra and fellow board members towards these and other goals’.

In 2009, the composer was approached to orchestrate and conduct Elbow and the Hallé for one of the key concerts at Manchester International Festival. His previous work with the Camerata includes being asked by Bernard Sumner to write the string arrangements for New Order’s Music Complete album prior to its successful release on 25 September. He was also invited by composer Philip Glass to join the New Order set with Iggy Pop at the Tibet House fundraiser at Carnegie Hall, New York.