London orch sacks manager

London orch sacks manager


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2014

Players in the financially troubled London Mozart Players have decided to run the show themselves in the hope of saving it from the rocks. They’re a good band, but there’s not enough work to go around the proliferation of chamber-sized orchs in town, some of which get by without paying the players. And local authority funding from Croydon is being squeezed.

Managing director Simon Funnell will lose his job. A shame, he’s one of the more enterprising managers.




The London Mozart Players has a major funding problem that has necessitated a re-evaluation of the way in which the management of the Orchestra operates. The Orchestra has become increasingly dependent on local authority grants that are no longer sustainable. The Board has concluded that it has no option but to implement future operations on the basis of freelance and project work. The present Managing Director, Simon Funnell, has therefore decided that this is an appropriate moment, after five years in the post, for him to step away from the Orchestra to explore other career opportunities. The board is grateful to Simon for his success in steering the Orchestra through this difficult period and for maintaining its reputation and artistic quality.



  • Indeed, Simon Funnell is full of good artistic ideas, and works formidably hard: he was an excellent and much liked administrator for TKC before he moved further up the music management line. Snap him up quickly!

  • MWnyc says:

    This question is going to irk some folks, but I’ll don my flame-retardant suit and ask it anyway.

    With so many excellent period-instrument bands in London these days, is there really still a market niche for a group specializing in 18th-century music on modern instruments as the London Mozart Players do?

    • Eugene says:

      I don’t think that has been the case for quite a while. They were playing a variety of stuff when I saw the and it was electric. It will interesting to see what happens now.

  • Peter says:

    According to the linked article a new person has been appointed to run a new administration. How does that save money exactly?

  • Simeon says:

    As the statement says, presumably they will be working in a freelance capacity, not as a full time manager, so will only be paid on a project basis when there is money to pay them.

  • It could be that the person who will lead the new “management team” at London Mozart Players may even do so on a voluntary basis? Viv Davies, named in Classical Music Magazine as the LMP’s new leader, currently has a day job as Chief Operating Officer of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (whose website says that it is “a distributed network of economists”).

    The new LMP management structure looks a bit misty so far to outsiders – the statement from LMP simply says that “further details of the Orchestra’s new plans will be released at a later date.” In the immediate future, LMP’s newly self-governing members will presumably, at the very least, gain access to lots of excellent advice about the economy!

    • Peter says:

      I can assure you that there is nothing “misty” about the new management structure of The London Mozart Players. It is extremely robust. A full statement will be released very soon.