Exclusive: UK conductor quits US orchestra

Exclusive: UK conductor quits US orchestra


norman lebrecht

June 02, 2023

Things were going quite well at the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra until the conductor decided to readjust his life values.

Here’s what insiders are being told:

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am writing to share the news that Richard Egarr has decided to conclude his term as Music Director at the end of the 2023/24 season. Richard’s decision to leave is a personal one, which we respect. As you know, Richard has a young family who are based in Amsterdam, and this decision allows him to spend more time conducting in Europe to be closer to his family.

Over the past four years, Richard’s contributions to this organization have been profound. Under his leadership, PBO produced a significant number of virtual programs, toured extensively, and received critical praise from esteemed local critics, in particular for performances of Handel’s Theodora and Amadigi di Gaula.

We thank Richard for all he has contributed, and on behalf of everyone at PBO, we wish him all the best.

With this news, we close a chapter and begin another. A committee will be convened to begin the search for a new Music Director. This committee will include members of the Board of Directors, staff and musicians. We will be in touch with the Players’ Committee soon about the formation of the Music Director Search Committee, and we look forward to working together to select a new Music Director. In the meantime, Richard remains as Music Director through June 2024.

We are sharing this news with PBO’s donors and audiences later today. For now, we ask that you treat this news as confidential and not to be shared externally, including via social media.

Egarr, 59, is also Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Visiting Professor at Juilliard School of Music. Looks like he might be giving up those jobs, too.

UPDATE: And here’s what happened next!


  • roboeman says:

    Rumbled ?

  • Richard Claeys says:

    RichCA: He was dealt a tough hand when the pandemic hit and had to put together a variety virtual programs from Amsterdam, plus fielding a number of schedule, repertoire and guest artist issues…not an easy run after years with McGegan at the helm.

    • Alex Winters says:

      McGegan was good too. I first heard him in Cambridge UK in 1971, conducting a student orchestra in Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste.

  • Antwerp Smerle says:

    Richard Egarr is an extraordinary, visionary and ecstatic musician. California’s loss is Europe’s gain.