UK orchestra names Italian chief, 35

The Ulster Orchestra has named Daniele Rustioni  to succeed Rafael Payare as chief conductor in September.

This is a bold move. Rustioni, 35, is music director of the opera in Lyon and something o a rising star.

He says: ‘I perceived a special connection with the Ulster Orchestra ever since I first set foot on the podium at Ulster Hall as a guest conductor a couple of years ago. Emotion and brilliance from the musicians combined with the Hall’s magical atmosphere allows the sound to soar from every instrument and envelope you completely. And what can I say about the touching and exhilarating reception from the
wonderful Belfast audience? My heartfelt thanks go to Rafael for his great work and for his warm
support in “passing the baton”. I am delighted and profoundly grateful to take the position of Chief
Conductor with this fabulous orchestra and I can hardly wait to get started, sharing inspiring music, and collaborating with all the exciting projects that are already taking shape. It will be a thrilling adventure for all of us.’

The announcement has been timed for the annual meeting of the Association of British Orchestras, which is taking place in Belfast.


How Ulster can afford talent of this order, and how and when it will address issues of bullying and inequality in the orchestra, are questions that will not quite make the ABO’s agenda.

UPDATE: Orchestra pledges equality progress

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  • I wish him every success. He has been excellent when I have seen him in concert and he also has a great deal of warmth and charm.

  • Good luck, Daniele! I hope you will have a successful term with this wonderful orchestra. We shared a couple of visits together back in the old days in 1990s. Loved working with them tremendously. You will be a shining light for the orchestra and their role in the city of Belfast. Have a good time!

  • Good for him, and good for them.

    Shouldn’t you be referring to him as “Danny,” though (or at most “Daniele”)?

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