Lots of commentators rush to congratulate when new appointments are announced, peppering their prose with words like ‘surprise’ or ‘shock’ just to give their copy added (and usually unnecessary) urgency.
I’m going to precisely the opposite about the news that Marketing and Comms Director at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Will Norris will be taking a new position as Managing Director at Canada’s Tafelmusic Baroque Music and Chamber Choir.
It should come as no surprise at all that Will has this appointment. The first time I met him (and interviewed him for a film I was making for the BBC Proms website), I was struck by his refreshing spirit, savvyness and energy. Unfailingly down to earth with a wry sense of humour, the classical music world needs to continue nurturing this kind of talent. Will’s vision is reflected in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s distinctive marketing message: not all orchestras are the same and the associated print, photography and multimedia content which arose from that message.
My digital back-slapping can’t overlook the fact that a few years ago he looked past past my apparent inability and lack of ease at on-stage presenting, and gave me the chance to be compere at the ‘Mini Night Shift’ gigs the orchestra had developed. The concerts were successful despite my involvement (as you’d expect given that the players are so passionate about the music they play in pubs across London).
Will’s appointment to Tafelmusik has been hard-earned and well-deserved. Canada’s baroque orchestra and chorus are lucky to have such a talent joining them.