Manchester Camerata enhances board with three new appointments

UK-based ensemble Manchester Camerata continues its impressive growth strategy for 2015-16 with the appointment of three new board members to its team. New elected Camerata board member, Penny Early, will joined by Deborah McLaughlin, chief executive of Manchester Place, and Stephen Dauncey, chief finance officer for Highways England.

Judith Watson, chair of Manchester Camerata, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Penny, Deborah and Stephen onto our board. Their wealth of experience will bring new skills and ideas to [the] Camerata, which has wide-ranging and ambitious plans for the future.’

Added Early: ‘I’m delighted to be joining the Camerata board. As an orchestra, its artistic ambitions are wide-ranging and hugely impressive but it is so much more than just an orchestra with the groundbreaking work which is being done in the local community, with children and young people and in health and well-being. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in one of Manchester’s most exciting arts organisations.’

Manchester’s most versatile ensemble has been highly acclaimed in the press for its fresh take on classical music programming. High-profile international artists to collaborate with the Camerata, led by Hungarian music director Gábor Takács-Nagy, include pianist Martha Argerich, trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth and accordion sensation Martynas.

The ensemble has also collaborated on unique events with Italian coffee chain Caffè Nero and Manchester City Football Club. This year the Manchester-based chamber orchestra announced three Haçienda Classical dates (inspired by the famous Haçienda nightclub era in Manchester, and headed up by DJs Mike Pickering and Graeme Park), for which tickets at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall (5 and 12 February) and London’s Royal Albert Hall (23 March) sold out in minutes.

For Haçienda Classical, Pickering and Park will be perform alongside the 40-strong orchestra, who recently recorded the string section to British Band New Order’s track Restless, to create an innovative live fusion of anthems. Special guests will be announced soon.

‘What we’re about is creating a great product and putting it to be people and cultivating them to enjoy the many different things we do,’ CEO Bob Riley told IAM. ‘It’s about creating the right environment to play the music in: be that fixing a problem, an illness, or tackling a barrier to access to music. Our programming, especially across health and well-being, is about what they need and not about what we want to do.

‘Music is a tool, it’s not a single delivered thing,’ added the CEO. ‘We are about creating great art, and reaching out to people who would never have considered coming near classical music.’

In addition to its imaginative concert series, the Camerata has expanded its international touring schedule, yet remained true to its roots by increasing its creative work in the local community, including a partnership with University of Manchester exploring ground-breaking research into dementia, a range of youth projects, and research into mental health, music, and the use of anti-psychotic drugs.

A full interview with Manchester Camerata CEO Bob Riley will be published in issue 19 of IAM, out 23 Dec.