The BBC Philharmonic has named Omer Meir Wellber as its new Chief Conductor. He will take up the post in September 2019, on an initial contract of four years, suceeding Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena, who held the post from 2011 until August this year, at the Manchester-based orchestra.
Wellber featured on one of the albums shortlisted for the 2017 Gramophone Awards in the Concerto category, partnering Augustin Haddelich in Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and where he was described by reviewer Mark Pullinger as ‘drawing out Spanish fire and stamping heels from this colourful – and strangely neglected – score’.
Wellber, 36, said ‘I first worked with the BBC Philharmonic in March and knew straight away that they were a very special group of people and exceptional musicians. Manchester and the whole region is an incredibly rich area culturally, so I can hardly wait to start planning seasons to come.’
The Israeli conductor’s current roles include Principal Guest Conductor at Semperoper Dresden and, since 2009, Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, Israel. In January 2020 he also takes up the post of Music Director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.