'One of a kind' Roger Wright to leave BBC

Roger Wright

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Long-standing Radio 3 controller Roger Wright is to leave the BBC.

Wright, who is also director of the BBC Proms, will become chief executive of Aldeburgh Music - the Suffolk-based charity which puts on the Aldeburgh Festival of Music as part of its programme of music performance and artist development.

Tony Hall pointed to his 'huge contribution' to the BBC, while Helen Boaden, director of radio, described him as 'one of a kind'.

Since 1998, when Wright took the helm at the classical music station, he has put live music and new music commissions at the heart of the output, maintaining Radio 3's audience of around two million a week.

Under his command, the BBC Proms have built record audiences, while reaching out to new audiences via the likes of the Doctor Who, children's, urban and 6 Music proms.

'Unique and brilliant'

Boaden said he was a 'unique and brilliant talent' who had displayed 'an unwavering commitment to quality, courage in introducing new kinds of music and developing exciting collaborations, and massive ambition on behalf of audiences'.

'He has driven the distinctiveness of Radio 3 by developing a unique blend of music and speech programming, and creating special events like the Free Thinking Festival. He is one of a kind and we are going to miss him hugely but wish him every success in his wonderful new job.'

The director general also paid tribute to Wright as a 'fantastic champion of classical music across the BBC' who had 'raised the profile of the Proms every year'.

Wright was previously vice president, artists and repertoire, at Deutsche Grammophon in Hamburg, after three years as artistic administrator of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Further back, he was senior producer of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

He said he was 'honoured' to be asked to lead Aldeburgh Music, but 'sorry' to leave the Corporation at a time when arts were being given such a prominent role.

'I am fortunate indeed to have been able to work with fantastically creative and hard-working colleagues,' he added.

The BBC will begin the process to recruit his successor 'in due course'.

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