Dresden reject is ‘in line’ for BBC Proms

Dresden reject is ‘in line’ for BBC Proms


norman lebrecht

April 19, 2015

We’ve had a tip-off from Lyon that Serge Dorny has been shortlisted for the vacancy of BBC Proms chief.

The Belgian, who was sacked last year by the Semper Oper in Dresden before he could take up the job, has a history of talking up his chances for posts across the music world, so we need to take this tip with a chunk of salt. It may be no more than self-puffery.

serge dorny

However, Dorny has form in the UK as a past head of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He may have a few locals who are pushing his name for the Proms. He is unsettled at Lyon Opera and has chameleon qualities that may play well with the present characterless administration at the BBC.

On the other hand, the BBC job will pay less than half of his Lyon salary.

No date has been set for announcing a new Proms boss. The job has been vacant since Roger Wright left last June.


UPDATE: Dorny, in London this week, has denied being in the running for the BBC Proms job. The pay is too poor.


  • Peter Freeman says:

    It should be Ed Blakeman who was Wright’s second-in-command and therefore knows the job from the inside out.

  • Anon says:

    It is not exactly a career step upward, to move from an all year directorship of a big opera house to directorship of a popular summer concert festival, is it?

  • Peter says:

    Meanwhile the Sunday Times is reporting that Marin Alsop will be in charge of this year’s last night again. Which invites the questions – why is Oramo not doing it, as BBCSO chief. If not him, why Marin again (2013) when there are lots of other conductors of both sexes to choose from. Or, if the BBC is now practising some perverse crowd leasing political agenda of having a woman, why not one of several other talented possibilities?

  • Ellingtonia says:

    Was the same question asked about those male conductors who appeared more than once at the Last Night including:-
    Colin Davis
    Norman del Mar
    Charles Groves
    James Loughran
    Andrew Davies
    Jiri Belohlavek
    or do we have a different set of criteria for female conductors?
    Could it just be that she was an outstanding success on the Last Night in 2013 and the BBC thought it might be nice to invite her back.
    I concur that it would have perhaps been nice to invite another woman to participate and it would have been very interesting to see what someone like Susanna Malkki made of the evening.

    • Peter says:

      The last night has been conducted by someone other than the chief conductor of the BBCSO, in the last 20 years, in 1993, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2013. All of these were single invitations, not repeated. Of course some were elsewhere in the season too, but I’m writing specifically about the last night.
      Therefore I stand by my original question. With so many conductors to choose from, why is Alsop doing it again. Her re-invitation to the last night would appear to go against recent ‘form’. So yes, the question is perfectly valid even if she was not a woman, but the added component is, because she is a woman, the question of the BBC playing politics having made so much of a fuss of her appointment to the 2013 concert.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Speaking of women conductors, I personally would rather like seeing a baroque flavored Last Night under Emmanuelle Haïm for example.

  • Geoff Radnor: says:

    I read lots about Alondra de la Parra, is she ready to take on the role after Marin Alsop?

  • Max Grimm says:

    Without commenting on Mrs. Alsop’s merits, I will say that Colin Davis, Norman del Mar, Charles Groves, James Loughran, Andrew Davis and Jiří Bělohlávek were chief conductors of one of the BBC’s orchestras. Mrs. Alsop thus far has not been.

  • DLowe says:

    Marin Alsop did it too recently. I have no problem with her whatsoever; she’s a very decent musician, but I would rather see her back in two or three years. I’d personally like to see V Jurowski do it. He’s been at the centre of British classical music for more than a decade, and is a real talent.

  • Stereo says:

    Unlike Alsop

  • William says:

    Maybe because she’s a great all-rounder, and thats important for the last night? Someone who has popular appeal and is a good speaker?

    Dorny would be an interesting choice for the proms job, perhaps even a good one.