Alan Davey fired BBC chorus chief for failing to ‘follow reasonable management instructions’

Richard Morrison has done good work in the Times today, coming up with the full story of the dismissal of Stephen Jackson, the popular and vastly competent conductor of the BBC Symphony Chorus.

It appears Stephen could not get on with Paul Hughes, who runs the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Such stuff happens, especially at the BBC.

But the BBC Radio 3 controller turned the issue nuclear by accusing Stephen of ‘bringing the BBC into disrepute’ and sacking him without due process.

Richard Morrison justly comments that any disrepute was caused by Davey’s peremptory action, justified only by his characteristic management speak.

Read his column here (firewalled).

stephen jackson bbc

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  • After many years of extremely distinguished service at the helm of the BBC Symphony Chorus – I am rendered almost speechless at this treatment of Stephen Jackson – appalling.

  • Having known Stephen since my student days at Trinity in the mid 80’s, I am utterly appalled at this disgraceful decision, taken by those faceless suits who know NOTHING about the art of training choirs. Let’s start a petition to have him reinstated ASAP, and the dismissal of those who are not worthy to clean Stephen’s shoes. Unbelievable.

  • Stephen is a towering figure in the firmament of choral directors.

    Will anyone half as good want to step into his shoes whilst the current pathetic regime are in charge of BBC Ensembles?

  • Faceless wonders? Pathetic Regime? Steady now. Whilst those who write here clearly admire the qualities they have observed in the former conductor, I wonder if they have stopped to assess the other, equally significant side of such a role which is away from the rehearsal room and part of management? I’m sure not one of them has any experience in such roles within professional organisations and doesn’t know the reasons behind this decision.

    Admire the former holder of this post for his musical qualities and rejoice in what he achieved, but don’t insult those who manage BBC ensembles and don’t wave about accusations that you are not qualified to give. Each and every one of those managers is knowledgable, talented, gifted and gives far above and beyond their contracts with the corporation.

    So rather than calling for the man to be reinstated and throwing around accusations with no substance, keep quiet.

    • ‘knowledgable, talented, gifted and gives far above and beyond their contracts with the corporation’. Some of them, fur sure. Not, however, the man who did the firing. Not in any of the above respects. And that’s a fact.

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