Today [May 6], the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Catherine Høgel as Chair of the Board of Directors. Having served as Vice-Chair for the last three years, she takes up her new position on 9 May 2022 and will help to lead the Orchestra in its mission to share the wonder of classical music.
The Orchestra also celebrates the outgoing Chairman, Victoria Robey OBE,who has served in the role for ten years. Lady Robey became the first non-player Chairman in the Orchestra’s history, when she took on the role in 2012 following the merger of the London Philharmonic Trust and LPO Board, and has been exceptional in her dedication, care and drive in supporting the Orchestra. Her keen sense of responsibility towards the Orchestra led her to offer an extra year during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure stability and continuity during an extremely uncertain time and to see in the first season of Principal Conductor Edward Gardner and Artistic Director Elena Dubinets.
Dr Catherine Høgel, new Chair of the Board says: “My thanks extend to our outgoing Chairman, Victoria Robey, for her outstanding decade of leadership and vision. At a time when there is, more than ever, a need to support classical music and the arts, I am honoured to have this opportunity to work so closely with the LPO’s extraordinary musicians, management and supporters. Through world-class musical performance, programming and education the orchestra stakes its position and relevance in the modern world, curating music to reach the widest possible audience and bringing with it the ability to inspire, transform and uplift. I enter this role with huge excitement for the future of this remarkable organisation.”
David Burke, Chief Executive of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says: “This is an important moment in the Orchestra’s life, with the appointment of only its second ever non-player Chair. In Catherine, the Orchestra has chosen someone with exceptional integrity, great passion for the artform, and ambition for the future. She brings a perfect balance of her experience of the arts in the UK and internationally over many years, alongside a deep understanding of what makes the London Philharmonic Orchestra a uniquely special and successful organisation. We all greatly look forward to working with her in her new role.
I also want to extend our thanks to Victoria Robey for her exceptional leadership over the last decade. The care, support and commitment she has shown this Orchestra plays a fundamental part in who we are as an organisation today, and we look forward to continuing our relationship together for many years to come.”
Chairman of the Search Committee Andrew Tusa says: “After a thorough external search, I am really pleased that Catherine is taking up the position of Chair of the LPO Board. Her love of the Orchestra and her brilliant credentials make her the right candidate to succeed Victoria, to whom we are extremely grateful for her 10 years of devoted service. In this time, she has overseen many milestones for the Orchestra and truly knows it inside out. Having worked with Catherine in her Vice-Chair role, I know the Orchestra will continue to be in good hands with her as Chair and I look forward to all she will bring to it.”
Martin Höhmann, President of the Board of Directors and First Violin says: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Catherine as the new Chair of the LPO Board. Having worked with Catherine on the LPO Trust and Board in the past I know that she will put all her energy, enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge towards elevating our Orchestra to further heights. I and my fellow musicians are very much looking forward to working together with Catherine in the years to come.
At the same time, it is my honour to thank Victoria Robey for an unprecedented tenure as the first non-player Chairman of the Board. Over the past 10 years she has been the Orchestra’s most enthusiastic and loyal supporter, seeking a personal connection with every single person in the organisation. Throughout her tenure she has driven and facilitated positive development and artistic success by leading from the front with unwavering energy and passion. It has been a huge pleasure working so closely with Victoria and it is good to know that she will remain a valued member of the LPO family!”
Høgel has a strong connection with the LPO and is well known within the Orchestral family, having served on the London Philharmonic Trust as well as the Advisory Council, Board of Directors and as Vice-Chair. She has served on the board of a number of arts organisations and charities both in the UK and internationally. These include the Dunard Fund, Colburn School of Performing Arts, Awards for Young Musicians and the Honorary Board of the Royal Opera House, in addition to her commercial board commitments.
Her deep conviction of the intrinsic value of the arts to society is also central to the LPO’s ethos and, having already worked with the LPO in different capacities, she understands the Orchestra’s culture and mission and has helped shape many of the initiatives she will now lead as Chair. In particular, she is looking forward to continuing the Orchestra’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work as well as helping it become more sustainable in its practices. This, coupled with her many years of board experience, will ensure the continued growth and success of the Orchestra.
The LPO would also like to express its sincere thanks to its outgoing Chairman, Victoria Robey OBE. Under her diligent, intelligent and compassionate stewardship, the Orchestra has gone from strength to strength. She has shown great care towards every aspect of the Orchestra’s work, from overseeing the senior appointments of David Burke as Chief Executive, Elena Dubinets as Artistic Director and new Principal Conductor Edward Gardner, to championing Education and Community projects and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This passion led her to spearhead the formation of LPO Junior Artists, the Orchestra’s annual orchestral experience programme for talented young musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional UK orchestras. The Orchestra has benefitted hugely from her expertise in this area and has enabled it to look at its internal practices and biases to work towards a more inclusive organisation.
On an individual level, she has built strong relationships with musicians, staff, boards and Advisory Councils, supporters, audiences, and many other artists and organisations on behalf of the Orchestra and its values. These relationships remain strong and the Orchestra looks forward to seeing her regularly at LPO performances, on the Advisory Council and continuing to help behind the scenes for many years to come.