The Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) has appointed John Gilhooly to succeed outgoing chairman Graham Sheffield. Gilhooly, who was previously honorary secretary and has been part of the RPS council since 2007, will now take the helm as the society approaches its bicentenary in 2013 and faces the tough challenges of the current political climate.

‘The RPS has a crucial role to play in securing the future of classical music in this country, as an advocate and champion for musicians and the music industry, especially at a time when public funding for the arts will be under some considerable pressure,’ says Gilhooly.

Gilhooly, aged 36, will be adding this post to his successful track record as director of Wigmore Hall since 2005 (non-executive from 2000), where he transformed box office returns, managed the refurbishment of the hall and launched the CD label Wigmore Hall Live. The label has produced some landmark discs including the recent release of Beethoven violin sonatas with Alina Ibragimova.

In 2013 the RPS will celebrate 200 years, making it one of the oldest music societies in the world. It commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 1822. The RPS continues to champion the finest artists in the classical music world, which is reflected in the annual RPS Awards.

Outgoing chairman Graham Sheffield is moving to Hong Kong to become CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Neil McKim

Related links:
News: Oliver Knussen heads RPS Awards list
Meet the Artist: Janine Jansen on her Royal Philharmonic Society Award