It is with a mixture of sadness and great excitement I announce that after more than 20 years as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, consolidating the fine reputation this orchestra has had since before the 2nd world war, I have decided to leave. I have been offered and accepted the position of Music Director at the London Concert Orchestra. This orchestra was formed in 1972 by Raymond Gubbay Ltd and its first and up to now only Music Director was Marcus Dodds. When he died in 1988, the orchestra continued to exist on the many and varied concerts it was asked to do under different guest conductors. The growth of the orchestra in recent years has seen it take on a new identity, and the standard of the orchestra has been simply staggering as it is asked to play so many different styles of music in so many different venues around the UK and abroad. I am greatly looking forward to helping the orchestra increase its profile at the RGL company as well as forging new contacts with different organisations, as it becomes the freelance orchestra of choice for anyone looking to hire an orchestra. On a personal level, I have worked with the LCO for a great many years, and in fact my first concert as Music Director of the orchestra will be at The Royal Festival Hall on 5th May 2018, just one day short of the first time I ever conducted the orchestra 30 years ago in The Barbican Hall on 6th May 1988. Along with the Artistic Advisor James Rutherford, I am hugely privileged and excited to lead this orchestra into the next phase of its existence.