English National Opera has announced that Martyn Brabbins will be its new Music Director with immediate effect. Brabbins replaces Mark Wigglesworth, who announced his resignation in March but continued to lead productions until the end of the last season. Brabbins's contract runs until 2020 and he will plan the next two seasons together with ENO’s Artistic Director, Daniel Kramer.
Brabbins was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 1994-2005, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic from 2009-2015, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic from 2012-2016 and Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music from 2005-2007. He is a noted conductor of British music, and won a Gramophone Award for his recording of Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus in 1998.
Brabbins said: 'With an orchestra and chorus of such exceptional calibre, and a musical legacy nurtured by the finest British conductors, from Reginald Goodall through 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. It is quite an act to follow, and in a tough financial climate, but I am determined that ENO will continue to produce stimulating operatic performances of the highest musical quality at the London Coliseum.'
Brabbins has produced more than 100 recordings for various labels, but particularly for Hyperion and NMC, in repertoire ranging from Stanford, Vaughan Williams and Bax to several composers of today, including Sally Beamish, Judith Weir and Simon Holt. His recording of Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony (made live at the Proms) with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Hyperion was an Editor's Choice in the February 2012 issue.