UK’s 2020 music power list

UK’s 2020 music power list


norman lebrecht

January 03, 2020

The Stage names Ian McKellen in its annual list of most powerful people in UK theatre.

Here’s the Slipped Disc list for music. It has fewer luvvies, more pen-pushers.

1 Darren Henley

The Arts Council’s chief exec is the loudest, most influential voice for the survival of orchestras.

2 Simon Rattle

Has half of London dancing to his beat

3 Sarah Connolly

The diva pack a big punch on social media

4 Antonio Pappano

Covent Garden’s ringmaster is the one who pulls in the big stars

5 Danielle De Niese

The Glyndebourne chatelaine is a person of note

6 Fergus Linehan

Has restored the Edinburgh Festival to primacy

7 Nick Kenyon

Rattle’s old pal who runs the Barbican is running out of puff now his new hall has bit the dust

8 Tony Hall

The BBC’s besieged boss

9 Mirga

She’s resetting the tone for what a UK music director can do

10 Nicola Benedetti

The go-to person for music in education



  • Funny the obssesion of the British for the standings, for everything, everywhere…

  • Amos says:

    That Simon Rattle is the second most influential person on the arts scene in any country is depressing and a commentary on the near-term prospects of the classical music community in the UK. At least in Boston my understanding is that he is persona non grata.

    • Peter says:

      Why would his standing in any Lincolnshire market towns matter ?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Why is Rattle so badly thought of in Boston? My understanding is that he has deliberately chosen to limit his appearances in the US (he is one of the few music directors who concentrates on doing that job in one place at a time). And, whatever his skills as a conductor, he has a reputation for behaving nicely to his musicians.

  • david hilton says:

    Interesting list. But do the Royal Academy, Royal College, and other schools of music not boast anyone with the equivalent power to affect the role of music in the UK’s cultural life?

  • Nijinsky says:

    And now the “Queen” will have Whoopie Golberg play Prokofiev’s first piano concerto (onstage without piano) ((because none are available since Thomas Linley keeps catapulting any that emerge over the canal since he’s trying to get Wolfgang to practice some more plus Brexit))

    1) Brexit is not Breakfast
    2) Thomas is not in favor of either
    3) Some of them land like cats