Cristina Rocca

25 June 2020

The London Philharmonic Orchestra today announced the appointment of Cristina Rocca as its Artistic Director from November 2020.

Rocca brings to the LPO a wealth of international experience gained from senior positions at many of the world’s leading orchestras. As Vice President for Artistic Planning at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Rocca is responsible for the design and execution of all artistic plans, developing innovative programmes and engaging guest artists for the Orchestra.

Born in Bologna, Italy, Rocca was previously Artistic Director of Orchestre National de France; Director of Artistic Planning for the Cleveland Orchestra; Artistic Manager for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Head of Concerts and Programming at the Bournemouth Symphony and Head of Artistic Planning for the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Rocca joins David Burke, the LPO’s Chief Executive, as part of the senior administration of the Orchestra following the retirement earlier this year of Timothy Walker CBE AM. Rocca arrives at the LPO at an exciting moment of transition in its history. She will lead the future artistic vision with Edward Gardner OBE, Principal Conductor Designate, who in September 2021 succeeds Vladimir Jurowski, who will be remaining as Conductor Emeritus. The LPO also recently announced the appointment of Karina Canellakis as its Principal Guest Conductor from September 2020.

Since lockdown began, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has continued to innovate and reach new audiences with a range of initiatives. LPOnline provides a series of free digital performances and insight videos, playlists reflecting the repertoire of cancelled concerts and ‘Lean in and Listen’, a new series focussing on our national wellbeing that has engaged with hundreds of thousands of people. The Orchestra has partnered with prominent figures from the world of entertainment, such as Russell Brand, Jameela Jamil and Dermot O’Leary, to reach new audiences during these difficult times, encouraging listeners to take a few minutes to connect and reflect with their emotions through classical music.  The LPO has also continued to deliver many of its extensive education and community programmes through digital platforms.

On the 1st of June, the LPO became the first UK organisation to host an interactive digital fundraising evening, Gala in Your Parlour, via Zoom. This initiative, hosted live by Simon Callow CBE, brought together the wider LPO family of orchestra members, conductors, participants of the education and community programme with audiences, patrons and friends, raising a six-figure sum towards the Orchestra’s work in the coming months.

Victoria Robey OBE, Chairman of the LPO Board & Martin Höhmann, President, commented:
“We are delighted to welcome Cristina Rocca who brings to the LPO an impressive combination of experience, creative flair and expertise to shape the artistic direction of the LPO going forward. A highly respected artistic director with vision and insight, Cristina meets every challenge with optimism, passion and tenacity, characteristics that will be the bedrock of building an exciting future for the Orchestra and its audiences in the UK and worldwide. 

“As Cristina joins the LPO family working closely with Edward Gardner and David Burke, we feel tremendous optimism for the Orchestra in the years to come, building on its world-class reputation and the continued commitment to reaching broader, inclusive audiences while achieving sustained diversity within the sector.”

Cristina Rocca commented:
“I am truly delighted to be joining the great London Philharmonic Orchestra and teaming up with Vladimir Jurowski, Edward Gardner and Karina Canellakis to enable the Orchestra to bring the joy of live music-making once again  to its patrons and the wider community. Together with David Burke and the team I will work hard to ensure that as many people as possible will enjoy this wonderful Orchestra.

“I want to pay a personal tribute to Riccardo Muti who has taught me so much; it has been a great privilege and a joy to work with him. I also want to thank the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for countless magnificent performances, the President Jeff Alexander and all my dear colleagues who have worked so hard to maintain the organisation and the CSO in its preeminent position as one of the great orchestras in the world.”

Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London Arts Council commented:
“We’re very pleased to welcome Cristina Rocca as the new Artistic Director for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The partnership between Cristina Rocca and David Burke is really exciting and we look forward to seeing what the LPO achieves under their leadership. As more women take up leadership roles in the UK cultural sector, we expect to see their talent and experience act as catalysts for greater, long-term change and better representation.”