British conductor Martyn Brabbins has been appointed music director of English National Opera.
The official announcement by ENO today confirms a week of speculation by the industry, after rumours of Brabbins’s appointment began to circulate on social media last week.
‘With an orchestra and chorus of such exceptional calibre, and a musical legacy nurtured by the finest British conductors from Reginald Goodall to Mark Wigglesworth, I feel incredibly honoured to have been invited to join ENO and to become a part of this treasured British musical company,’ said Brabbins.
Brabbins will join artistic director Daniel Kramer and chief executive Cressida Pollock to complete the executive team, and will conduct his first production in the 2017/2018 season.
‘I am very happy that Martyn will soon be at my side, leading this daring company,’ said Kramer. ‘His most recent work with ENO, conducting Vaughan Williams’s A Pilgrim’s Progress in 2012, was fantastically received and he is highly respected by both musicians and the company.’
An experienced conductor with over 120 recordings to his name, Brabbins will join ENO in a troubled time for the company. Attempts to recoup the company’s losses have led to clashes between management and musical staff.
Brabbins’s predecessor Mark Wigglesworth resigned the post after disagreements with the executive panel over the future of the company. In an email to colleagues, he said: ‘As hard as I have tried to argue to maintain what I believe to be the fundamental pillars of our identity, I have failed to persuade others of this necessity.’
This story is being updated.