Halle chief to retire

The Halle orchestra in Manchester is advertising for a chief executive.

John Summers will retire next summer at 67 after 20 years in the job.

This is how it looked before he took over.

 

 

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  • What no clogs, cloth caps and shawls to show how things were in Manchester in 1999? Ee by gum it were really grim up north before we moved into the Bridgewater Hall which was 3 years before Summers took up the task of civilising us.

  • A lot of people at the HallĂ© and in the arts world will be rejoicing at the news.

    An arrogant, self-important John Summers has run the Hallé for far too long, stubbornly staying in his position like a determined tenant.

    With the tens of millions of pounds that has been given to the HallĂ©, courtesy of an Arts Council that was at one time partly run by Summers’ wife, the orchestra still fails to be a true ‘A Grade’ band. On a good day it performs no better than a good, conservatoire orchestra. It doesn’t feature in top, world rankings.

    Let us not celebrate an administrator’s legacy unless they have done something remarkable – Summers has not.
    Retiring will be the best thing he has ever done for the arts world.

    • The Halle have often considered themselves to be one of the best orchestras in the world, when in fact they’re not even the best orchestra in Manchester.

    • The salaries at the provincial orchestras will always mean that they are not among the best orchestras in the world. The best they can do is to see which of them is the best provincial orchestra in England. The Halle, some would suggest, have fallen behind Liverpool and Birmingham over recent years.

      Now they can’t make their salaries up to something decent by recording, the London orchestras will increasingly have the same problem.

  • Perhaps those who have posted disparaging remarks about the HallĂ© might acknowledge the several Gramophone Award recordings (mostly live) in the HallĂ© canon under Sir Mark. The CEO never presented himself very well, usually a tad scruffy, unshaven and humourless but his success in post cannot be denied. All the Manchester orchestras are great orchestras and assets to the north and the UK.

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