Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) has been elected as the new Chair for the Association of British Orchestras (ABO). He will succeed Kathryn McDowell of the LSO, who previously worked for the SCO in the 1980s. The appointment was confirmed at the ABO’s AGM this afternoon.

“It was clear to the Board that Gavin Reid can provide the experienced leadership needed to guide the ABO through the next few years, including challenges such as Brexit, public funding and diversity within orchestras,” said ABO Director Mark Pemberton. “Gavin is a strong collaborator, whose great experience in bringing leaders, managers, musicians, audiences and funders together will be invaluable. He is already a very familiar and respected figure within the ABO, having previously been a board member for six years. We are delighted to welcome him as our new Chair.”

Reid himself said, “It is a huge honour and privilege to be elected Chair of the ABO. I would like to thank Kathryn McDowell for her outstanding leadership of the ABO Board over the past three years as well as her tremendous commitment to the UK’s vibrant orchestral life.

Our sector faces some tough challenges over the next few years. There is the potential impact that Brexit could have on our collective ability to engage with artists, promoters, venues, and funders in Europe. Pressures on public funding show no signs of easing and we cannot and must not lose sight of the need to address issues of diversity and inclusion. That said, our orchestras have never been in greater artistic health, never more innovative, never more resilient and never more needed.”

Reid, who was born and educated in Edinburgh, is also currently a Governor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is also a Trustee of IMPACT Scotland, the organisation currently working to develop a new mid-scale performance venue in the heart of Edinburgh, which would be the SCO’s new home.