Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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New Chief Executive Announced

Thu Nov 20 2014

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We can totally recommend watching this on @BBCiPlayer. It features Queen Victoria's piano, which @houghhough plays… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive, Crispin Woodhead. Crispin comes from the critically acclaimed chamber orchestra Arcangelo, where he was General Manager. He’ll take up his role with us in January 2015.

Crispin has had an impressive and varied career in the fields of both music and education. He was an Organ Scholar at Pembroke College Oxford where he took a degree in modern languages. Later he became a junior lecturer and fellow in keyboard studies at the Royal Northern College of Music.

He created and ran Phoenix Arts Management, representing international opera singers and conductors and was Head of Modern Languages at Rugby School.

In 2010 Crispin was invited by former principal cellist of the OAE, Jonathan Cohen, to help set up and run Arcangelo. As General Manager Crispin was responsible for all operational aspects of the chamber orchestra.

Crispin is also co-founder of MusicTeachers.co.uk, which since its creation in 1998 has become the largest provider of support services to music teachers across the UK. He is married to the mezzo soprano Christine Rice, and they have four young children.

On his appointment, Crispin Woodhead commented:

“I am thrilled to be joining the outstanding Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It has prestigious residencies at Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne, and works with an impressive array of Principal Artists including Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Mark Elder. I admire the OAE’s innovative and fresh approach, with exciting and dynamic rules-free initiatives like The Night Shift and The Works attracting new audiences to classical music. This period orchestra has a challengingly broad repertoire as they constantly seek to innovate and break new ground. I am joining at a pivotal stage in the OAE’s history, as it celebrates 30 years of breaking the rules, and I can’t wait to become a part of their extraordinary story.”

OAE Chairman Sir Martin Smith, said:

“We are delighted that Crispin has agreed to become Chief Executive of the OAE.  He brings a wealth of fascinating experience and expertise to the role and I am sure will make a tremendous impact. We are very grateful to our outgoing Chief Executive Stephen Carpenter as he leaves the OAE on an artistic high, and with a strong and highly motivated management team in place, and I look forward to many more happy and successful years with Crispin at the helm of our great orchestra.”

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