Omer Meir Wellber has been named the new chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, succeeding Juanjo Mena, who held the post for eight years. The 36-year-old has fast established himself as one of today’s top conductors, having directed many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the London Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera.
Wellber also holds the post of principal conductor at the Semperoper Dresden, and is set to give his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Bizet’s Carmen later this month.
He has worked with the BBC Philharmonic on a number of previous occasions, most recently in Salford’s Media City with a programme of Mozart and Brahms. He will next be conducting the orchestra on Saturday 6October at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
Born in Israel, Wellber studied conducting and composition at the Jerusalem Music Academy under Eugene Zirlin and Mendi Rodan. He has been a guest conductor at the Israeli Opera for over ten years.
A passionate advocate for social change, Wellber is music director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, which was set up in 1991 in part to provide work for immigrants. He also regularly collaborates with a number of outreach programmes that support the next generation of conducting students.
Wellber will join a roster of BBC Philharmonic conductors that includes John Storgårds (chief guest conductor) and Ben Gernon (principal guest conductor).