Director of BBC Proms to step down

Hattie Butterworth
Thursday, November 23, 2023

Ex-Glyndebourne head David Pickard to make 2024 his final Proms season

David Pickard has been Director of the BBC Proms since 2015
David Pickard has been Director of the BBC Proms since 2015

Image: Chris Christodoulou/BBC

Director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard, has announced he is stepping down from the role and will make the 2024 BBC Proms his final season.

Previously General Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera for 14 years, Pickard has been in his current BBC role since 2015. The latest Proms season in 2023 saw an average attendance at 93% with numbers surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The 2023 classical music festival also had a special focus on voice and opera, including the UK premiere of György Kurtág’s opera Endgame and soprano Lise Davidsen’s appearance at the Last Night of the Proms.

Pickard started his career at the Royal Opera House before working at the New Shakespeare Company, Kent Opera, the Japan Festival, the European Arts Festival and as chief executive of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for eight years.

Speaking of his departure, Pickard said: ‘It has been an immense honour and privilege to run the world's greatest classical music festival alongside an incredible team … By the end of next summer I will have planned and delivered nine Proms seasons and it feels like the right time to move on and explore new projects. After the critical and box office success of the 2023 Proms, I look forward to delivering one more season in 2024.’

The recruitment process for Pickard’s replacement is said to begin in the new year.

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