Juanjo Mena is to succeed Gianandrea Noseda as chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. The initial contract is for three years, and begins with the 2011-12 season.
The Spanish conductor will lead the Manchester-based ensemble for 12 weeks per season, including concerts at the Bridgewater Hall – where the orchestra is resident – as well as at the BBC Proms, on tour and in BBC Radio 3 broadcasts.
The orchestra will continue its acclaimed relationship with Chandos Records. The first disc with their new conductor has already been recorded, and will feature music by French composer Gabriel Pierné with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. It is due for release next year.
Basque-born Mena, 44, was previously artistic director and principal conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (1999-2008), and has been principal guest conductor of both the Bergen Philharmonic and the Teatro Carlo Felice, in Genoa, since 2007.
Listeners to BBC Radio 3 can hear the new partnership this Friday (July 9) when Mena conducts the overture from Verdi’s Nabucco, Guridi’s Ten Basque Melodies and Dvorák’s Seventh Symphony on Afternoon on 3, at 2pm.
Noseda had conducted the orchestra since 2002, and was an integral part of a rich era for Manchester music-making alongside Sir Mark Elder’s Hallé, fellow Bridgewater Hall residents. He now takes on the title of conductor laureate.