John Harte, Aurora’s Chief Executive, has received the Orchestra Manager of the Year award, announced last night at the Association of British Orchestras (ABO)/Rhinegold Awards on the opening day of the annual ABO Conference held this year at Sage Gateshead.
The prestigious award, voted for by a panel of sector peers, was presented by BBC Radio 3′s Sara Mohr-Pietsch at a ceremony held in Newcastle’s Discovery Museum. The accolade pays tribute to John’s leadership of Aurora since 2009, during which time he has been a key driving force behind a period of rapid expansion and artistic development.
The award citation said: “John Harte has been an instrumental figure, guiding the development of the orchestra’s activities in London, across the UK, and internationally with particular highlights in 2014 including inaugural tours to Brazil and Melbourne, Australia; the announcement of a three-album recording agreement with Warner Classics, which also made Aurora the first major signing to the relaunched label; and the establishment of three regional residencies in Bristol, Bury St Edmunds and Ashford, Kent, ensuring that Aurora’s performances continue to reach the widest possible audience and engage a new audience for classical music. These successes can be attributed to John’s leadership, passion, entrepreneurial drive, and strategic vision.”
Figures from across the orchestral and arts sector have paid tribute to John’s contribution to Aurora and the industry as a whole. Gillian Moore (Head of Classical Music, Southbank Centre) describes John as “an imaginative and entrepreneurial CEO whose powerful sense of artistic vision has created in Aurora an ensemble that has been successful in bringing genuinely fresh thinking into the orchestral world in the UK”. John Gilhooly (Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society and Executive and Artistic Director, Wigmore Hall) adds: “John Harte is one of the most personable managers working in the orchestral world today and the tenth anniversary of Aurora is a good time to salute his achievements and the qualities of his leadership. It has been a great pleasure, and exciting, to watch him build on the success of Aurora, year after year.”
Speaking of the announcement Aurora’s Chairman, Louis Watt, said, “John has been dedicated to Aurora, its players and staff since he took up the role of Chief Executive in 2009, and has been the driving force behind the orchestra’s successes both on and off the concert stage. This award is thoroughly deserved, and is recognition of the fantastic role he has played in building one of the most creative and high quality ensembles in a generation. On behalf of all Aurora’s trustees, we send our congratulations and best wishes for many more successful years to come.”
Read a feature about the ABO/Rhinegold Awards on the Classical Music website.