Just in: Scots pluck London orchestra chief

Just in: Scots pluck London orchestra chief


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2018

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has named Alistair Mackie as its next chief executive, starting in April.

He is co-principal trumpet and ex-chairman of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, but a Scot at heart.

Mackie stood in as managing director of the Philharmonia after David Whelton’s retirement and has been preparing the orchestra for transition when Esa-Pekka Salonen steps down as music director.

He says: ”m honoured and excited to be taking up the position of Chief Executive with the RSNO. The first orchestral concert I ever attended was a performance of The Planets at the Kelvin Hall with the Scottish National Orchestra and throughout my teenage years I was repeatedly inspired by the unique energy and musicality of this amazing ensemble. It’s no small part of why I chose to pursue a career as a professional musician.

‘As the RSNO begins the next phase of its life with new Music Director Thomas Søndergård I believe there are unparalleled opportunities for this outstanding ensemble. With strong support from the Scottish Government the opportunity exists to have world-class music-making open and accessible to absolutely every member of Scottish society. Established and emerging digital platforms give new possibilities of reaching global audiences with the message of a vibrant Scottish musical scene.’



  • Minutewaltz says:

    I sat next to this man at dinner once and he was one of the most interesting and charming person that I’ve had the good fortune to meet. I wish him all the very best in his new job.

  • Una says:

    Strange! How can you say ‘he’s a Scot at heart?’ Surely he’s either Scot or he isn’t??? Either way he’s British!

  • Jamesay says:

    And my God does this ailing orchestra need help ! Years of poor programming, an unimaginative conductor that left recently, a poorly motivated Board with a paucity of imagination that don’t help raise funds, a mediocre lazy Development Department that only has to raise 30% of its revenue (70%comes in without them lifting a finger except to schmooze at preconcert receptions with the lazy entitled middlebrow Board…. Classic case of “we’ll be ok as the funding’s coming and we can just programme safe and not frighten the dying patrons.