Glyndebourne boss David Pickard appointed BBC Proms director

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David PickardImage source, david fernandes
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David Pickard has been general director of Glyndebourne since 2001

Glyndebourne boss David Pickard has been appointed director of the BBC Proms, it has been announced.

Pickard, 55, will take up his new role later this year, reporting to BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey.

Davey said Pickard would "bring a whole host of fresh ideas" to the three-month classical music festival.

This year's Proms, which begin in July, will continue under the leadership of Edward Blakeman.

Pickard, who was appointed general director of Glyndebourne in 2001, said he was "honoured" to be asked to take up his new role.

"After 14 wonderful years at Glyndebourne, I count myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to lead another of this country's most exciting arts organisations.

"Like so many people, my interest in classical music was inspired by visits to the Proms as a teenager and it has been my privilege to play a role as a contributor for the past 20 years, firstly with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and more recently with the annual Glyndebourne Prom.

"I look forward now to building on the founding principles of the Proms - to bring world-class classical music to the widest possible audience."

Born in London in 1960, Pickard studied music at Cambridge and has held senior positions at a number of arts organisations including the Royal Opera Company (1982-1987), the New Shakespeare Company (1987-89) and Kent Opera (1989-90).

Helen Boaden, director of BBC Radio, said Pickard had "an outstanding track record in bringing new audiences to classical music".

BBC Radio 3 boss Davey said: "David comes from a background of musical excellence and exploration, and will bring a whole host of fresh ideas to help us ensure the greatest classical music festival in the world continues to provide the place for people to discover and rediscover the best classical music.

"His achievements at Glyndebourne have included the discovery of exciting new artistic talent and the establishment of a range of new initiatives to bring opera to wider audiences through Glyndebourne's touring, education and digital activities."

The role was advertised in February, following Davey's appointment as controller of Radio 3.

The Proms were previously directed by Davey's predecessor, Roger Wright, who oversaw the festival from 2007 until he left the BBC last year.

This year's BBC Proms run from 17 July to 12 September.

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