The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain today announces the appointment of a new Chair, John Singer, who will lead and support the organisation as it tackles the music education crisis in the UK through teen-led social action.
Singer, who studied the French horn as a teenager and still enjoys playing the piano and the harpsichord which he built himself, has always combined his interest in music with his business expertise: he was previously a partner and European Chairman of Advent International, a global private equity firm, a board member and Deputy Chairman of Rambert, and currently serves on the board of Pantheon International Plc, The National Gallery, the City of London Sinfonia, and the Development Board of Royal Opera House. He has also previously held consulting and board roles at McKinsey & Co Inc and Central & Sheerwood Plc.
Singer joins NYO after the organisation has enjoyed a decade of expansion to reach more and more teenagers across the UK, particularly those who struggle to access music education due to financial, geographical or cultural barriers. Ahead of his election as Chair, Singer joined NYO Inspire Orchestra on their tour of schools in the West Midlands, and spent the day with teenagers at Washwood Heath Academy, Birmingham, watching NYO Inspire Orchestra’s performance of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, with newly-commissioned script, as well as enjoying a musical flash mob in the school playground, and observing a composition workshop run by one of NYO’s composers.
NYO Chair Elect, John Singer, commented: 'I am thrilled to join an organisation dedicated to supporting teenagers to realise their musical dreams and share their love of music with others, and I look forward to working with the team to help NYO meet its ambitious target to share orchestral music with every teenager in the UK. It has been absolutely inspiring to experience NYO musicians' dedication, their incredible musicianship and their passion for sharing music everywhere they go. Together we will work to grow the organisation's reach and impact, shaping a musical future for generations of musicians and audiences to come.’
Singer takes the reins from Dame Liz Forgan DBE, who has been NYO Chair since 2012, and who has steered the organisation through a period of huge growth alongside Chief Executive and Artistic Director Sarah Alexander OBE. Under their leadership, NYO has grown to reach more than 10,000 teenagers each year, and millions more through broadcasts online and on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four.
Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Sarah Alexander OBE, commented: ‘In 2020 NYO will be an orchestra made entirely of teenagers born in this millennium; it's more important than ever to fly the flag for cultural education and give young people space to lead, listen and inspire each other. John and NYO share a passion for this cause. John has an incredible track record for pioneering leadership and integrity, so I look forward to working together to bring NYO to many more teenagers, and digging further into NYO's development as an emblem of excellence and a revolutionary force musically, artistically, socially, pedagogically.’
Singer will take up his position on 1 August 2019, following NYO’s summer tour to Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent,
Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Photograph by © Will Pace.