Thank you for the music: Phil boss Simon Glinn says goodbye

Buxton beckons man who put Liverpool into the Philharmonic Hall

Written by  Angie Sammons | Follow @twangeee | Monday, 30 June 2014 13:02

SIMON Glinn, Philharmonic Hall boss and the man behind the Hope Street Feast and the Irish Sea Sessions, is bidding the city farewell at the end of this summer. 

He has been appointed chief executive of Buxton's Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre, ending an 11-year tenure at the hall as executive director of the venue which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment. 

When the concert hall reopens in November, one noticeable change will be the name above the front doors: it will now read 'Liverpool Philharmonic Hall' whereas it previous was missing the word 'Liverpool' - I like that

Liverpool-born Simon was co-founder of the high profile Sarajevo Jazz Festival and has worked in both programming and production in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Mostar where he helped launch the Pavorotti Music Centre. For eight years he produced the jazz stage at Glastonbury before retuning to his hometown with his own family in 2003. 

Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre is operated by the High Peak Theatre Trust.  Chairman Clive Beattie said: “We are delighted to welcome Simon to Buxton.  He has an enviable track record in developing both buildings and organisations, alongside establishing programming and artistic relationships with a range of world class performers and companies.  He joins the organisation at a pivotal moment in our history and I and the board look forward to working with him and supporting him in the development of his exciting vision for the future.”


Simon Glinn (Picture by Stephanie de Leng)Simon Glinn (Picture by Stephanie de Leng)

Simon described the latest leaving of Liverpool as “a huge wrench” but told Liverpool Confidential he felt the aim of his work at the Phil, to connect it, alongside the RLPO, to a wider, non-elitist public, had largely succeeded.

“We've worked with many partners during the last eleven years but I've really enjoyed working, in particular, with three special festivals; Hope St Feast, Liverpool Irish Festival and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival,” he said. 

“Perhaps my one regret is that there was not the support for the Hope Street Feast to enable it to continue after the seventh year.” 

Nevertheless, Buxton's new head honcho hinted that the pastures new of Derbyshire might provide fertile ground for feasts and fun anew. 

“I'm looking forward to a new challenge in Buxton: it's a fantastic set of venues, and the town has great festival aspirations. 

“Buxton Opera House is one of the country’s most beautiful theatres, a stunning example of Frank Matcham’s work.  There is so much potential to position the venue right back at the heart of the UK theatre industry and I am excited to lead the team in Buxton on that journey.”

Simon Glinn's New Gig At The Frank Matcham Designed Buxton Opera HouseNew Gig: Frank Matcham's Buxton Opera House

He added: “It's been a good decade and a bit in Liverpool. The concert hall business is stable without subsidy, and there's been continual investment in the building and its resources prior to the current refurbishment. 

“And using the old Rodewald Suite function room as a venue has led to the confidence in investing to develop a purpose-built performance space for small scale contemporary music on Sugnall St. 

“It's an important new music space opening mid-2015. I hope it succeeds and doesn't revert to being a canapé function room!”

He went on: “I have enjoyed great support from colleagues, artists, audiences, partners and politicians on all sides locally, and I'm very grateful for that. 

“No matter where I've lived "home" has always meant Liverpool; leaving is therefore a huge wrench. But I'm glad that when the concert hall reopens in November this year one noticeable change will be the name above the front doors: it will now read "Liverpool Philharmonic Hall" whereas it previous was missing the word "Liverpool" - I like that.”