RTÉ today announced the appointment of Declan McGovern as General Manager of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. As General Manager, Declan will have overall responsibility for the artistic, organisational and financial management of Ireland’s premier symphony orchestra. He will take up this position on a full-time basis on 1 January 2013.
Declan was appointed Chief Executive of the Ulster Orchestra in November 2010, a position he held until March 2012 when on secondment from his current position as Executive Producer, BBC Northern Ireland. Previous roles include Editor, Music, BBC Northern Ireland and Senior Producer, Classic FM. Declan grew up in Co Laois. He is B. Mus. (Hons) graduate from University College Cork.
As Chief Executive with the Ulster Orchestra, Declan was instrumental in appointing a new principal conductor, re-establishing the Ulster Orchestra’s recordings with Naxos, securing new sponsors, negotiating a new contract with the musicians and establishing strategic business partnerships with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and the Belfast Telegraph. Artistic partnerships included a joint performance with the Ulster Orchestra and the Ulster Youth Orchestra at the BBC Proms in London, a collaboration between the Ulster Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and an annual concert celebrating the music of Scotland and Northern Ireland with the support of the Ulster Scots Agency. At BBC Northern Ireland he instigated the annual open air Proms in the Park, established a series of St Patrick’s Day concerts in collaboration with Belfast City Council, commissioned 15 new works from Irish composers, produced TV programmes on Leonard Bernstein, Steve Reich and The Chieftains and won awards for his radio biography on Yehudi Menuhin and a documentary for BBC Radio 3 on the role of music inside the Maze Prison.
Speaking of his appointment, Declan McGovern said: ‘The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is a national cultural treasure. It has played a major role in professional music-making in Ireland and in providing important platforms for Irish soloists and composers and international artists. Great economic and social challenges face us in Ireland today. The RTÉ NSO is a reminder of all that is great and strong in Ireland’s cultural fabric. I look forward to working closely with the orchestra and with colleagues in RTÉ to help steer its journey over the years ahead.‘
Welcoming his appointment, Séamus Crimmins, Executive Director, RTÉ Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs said: ‘I am delighted that Declan has accepted the post of General Manager, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Declan’s experience in radio, television, orchestral management and business position him well for the challenges which the orchestra faces. The RTÉ NSO has a unique position within Irish cultural life and I know that Declan will build on its artistic strengths whilst fulfilling the full range of RTÉ’s public service obligations.’