Introducing John Butt OBE, our newest Principal Artist.
When the Orchestra started, 30 years ago, we promised that we’d never have a single conductor, director or artistic director. Instead, the musicians would run things, make the big decisions, agree who to work with. If we were to need a conductor then we’d pick one who we really wanted to work with. And that’s what our Principal Artists are, in fact a better name might be ‘favourite conductors’. Some, like Sir Simon Rattle, have been there since the very beginning. Others, like Vladimir Jurowski, are more recent. But all are thrilling to work with, and the exchange of ideas and experience pushes the Orchestra forward.
So when we name a new Principal Artist, it’s a big deal. John Butt is a conductor, organist, harpsichordist and scholar (impressive, right?) and his extraordinary, in-depth historical insight has already given so much to the way the OAE perform Bach. Now we’ve got him as a Principal Artist there will be no stopping us.
Welcome aboard, John. It’s great to have you.
You’ll be able to catch Butt on the 10 March conducting an enlightening all-Bach programme at St John’s Smith Square.