The BBC Philharmonic has announced the appointment of John Storgårds as its new chief conductor.


Storgårds already enjoys a fruitful relationship with the orchestra, which he has served as chief guest conductor since 2017. Elsewhere, he also serves as principal guest conductor of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, and as artistic director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. He has held the latter title for more than 25 years, earning critical acclaim for the ensemble’s adventurous performances and award-winning recordings.

With the BBC Phil, John’s achievements include annual performances at the BBC Proms, an acclaimed Sibelius symphony cycle in 2013 and numerous well-reviewed recordings for Chandos Records.

Upcoming performances with the BBC Phil, meanwhile, include Shostakovich Symphonies Nos. 13 (with the Sibelius Violin Concerto) and 15 (with Rachmaninov's The Isle of the Dead and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations), at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall.

Based in Salford, the BBC Philharmonic typically performs around 100 concerts every year, regularly premiering new music by contemporary composers. Along with concerts, recordings and broadcasts on all seven BBC national radio networks, the orchestra also explores ways of making classical music accessible to the widest audiences. For example, in February 2022 it released The Musical Story of the Gingerbread Man – a unique musical re-telling of the classic children's tale, narrated by BBC Radio 5Live's Nihal Arthanayake.

John joins a distinguished line of conductors associated with the BBC Philharmonic including Yan Pascal Tortelier, Juanjo Mena and Gianandrea Noseda. He will work closely with the orchestra’s current director, Simon Webb, who in January begins his new role as head of BBC orchestras and choirs.

John Storgårds said: 'Having first worked with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010, then taking up the position of principal guest conductor in 2012, and in 2017 becoming chief guest conductor, it is with pure enthusiasm that I'm now going to be the orchestra’s new chief conductor.

'Over my many years of collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic, our partnership has been built on great musicmaking and trust. Together, we have already completed a number of fantastic projects; tours in the North of England and at the orchestra’s home in Salford and at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, appearances at the BBC Proms, and our many international tours and festival visits.

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'The BBC Philharmonic is widely known as an extraordinarily brilliant, skilful and versatile orchestra. I am very proud to be continuing our musical journey together with the wonderful musicians and great staff of this fine ensemble!'

Simon Webb, the orchestra's director, added: 'His Sibelius and Nielsen symphony cycles in Manchester, on Radio 3, and recorded for Chandos laid the foundations for a relationship that has seen John and the BBC Philharmonic thrill audiences at the BBC Proms, on international tours, on Radio 3, and in venues across the North of England. John always brings an energy and conviction rooted in his love for this great orchestra.'


A new principal guest conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra will be announced in due course.


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.