The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is looking for a new chief executive after revealing that Simon Woods is leaving in spring 2011 to take up a post as Executive Director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Woods joined the RSNO five years ago, at the same time as Music Director Stéphane Denève. Together they have helped the Orchestra achieve great critical success for its live performances as well as its many recordings. Since they arrived audiences have grown by a third and subscription levels are at their highest for a generation.
Increasing the RSNO’s international exposure has been a key priority for Woods. Over the past five years the RSNO and Denève have enjoyed four foreign sorties: two full European tours, a Spanish tour and an invitation to the Festival Présences at the Maison de Radio France in Paris in 2006. The Orchestra performed at some of Europe’s most important concert venues this year, including a concert at the world famous Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in front of a sell-out audience.
Announcing his departure, Simon Woods said: "It has been an extremely difficult decision to leave the RSNO. In more than five years here I have developed enormous affection for this great organisation, for its people, and for Scotland as a place. It will be very hard indeed to leave."
The next two years will reveal some of the most ambitious programming in the Orchestra’s recent history. This Season the RSNO presents key works of the 21st century with contemporary music series TEN OUT OF 10. In Stéphane Denève’s final season as Music Director in 2011-12, he will lead a major celebration of music by Claude Debussy, to mark the 150th anniversary of the French composer’s birth.