Change at the top of the London Philharmonic

Change at the top of the London Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2021

The orchestra has announced with regret that Cristina Rocca, who was recruited last summer from Chicago to be its artistic director, is having to leave without delay ‘due to a personal bereavement’.

It is understood Cristina will return to Italy to recover from the loss of her long-term partner.

Her replacement will be the runner-up in the last selection process, the scholarly Elena Dubinets who gave  15-year repertoire refresher course to the Seattle Symphony before losing her next job in Atalanta during the Covid shutdown.

Elena will move to London in September.






  • Giorgio says:

    A brilliant choice pure and simple. Ms. Dubinets knows everybody and provides a viewpoint both culturally aware and intellectually sound. Score a win for the LPO.

  • CSOA Insider says:

    Ms. Rocca, a highly respected professional, will go back to Chicago.

    JA, being the president, does not have any power to hire or do anything and RM has vetoed all his candidates.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      First and most important: condolences to Ms Rocca on her loss.

      Second: it seems that both Ms Rocca and Ms Dubinets have done excellent work, and both the LPO and CSO seem to be set to face the future well (when conditions allow).

  • Larry says:

    Norman, I mean no disrespect to you but why do you treat this story about an artistic staff member without comment yet the new artistic person with the New York Philharmonic had you questioning his job?

  • drummerman says:

    The Atlanta Symphony has been advertising for a V.P., Artistic Planning, which was Ms. Dubinets’ job. Perhaps she didn’t want her old job back??

    • BRUCEB says:

      When your company lets you go (I don’t know the details of her leaving Atlanta) and then advertises a vacancy for your job, it’s a pretty clear sign they don’t want you back. It’s like getting dumped by a boy- or girlfriend who then announces publicly that they’re single.

    • TroubleClef says:

      Or perhaps she wasn’t wanted…no other top artistic staffer lost their job simply because of the pandemic. Something else happened here.

  • Sara says:

    Amazing choice. One of the smartest and most creative programmers in the business.

  • AnnaT says:

    Absolutely great fortune for the London Philharmonic, Elena Dubinets is a passionate music lover and an exceptionally creative thinker about concert programming. Surprised to see any downvotes— maybe this readership is just in that habit.

    • Brass player says:

      She’s a disrespectful know-it-all. LPO have knowingly bought a lame duck with attitude. Or some would say viper. They either know what they’re getting into (which seems questionable) or they’re stupid. Time will tell. I’d give it 18 months.

  • Will says:

    Was this role advertised? The LPO is notable for appointing to senior roles lately without any open advertising which isn’t a great look for a body in receipt of public funding.

    • Edwon says:

      Will, fair question. But this post was advertised this time last year. With Cristina Rocca leaving after six months it makes sense for them to offer the position to the very well qualified runner up in that process, who was still available. There was a competitive, publicly- advertised process less than a year ago so I think they are within their rights.