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Arts Council chief moves to Radio 3

By | Published on Monday 29 September 2014

Alan Davey

As expected, Arts Council big cheese Alan Davey is to become grand fromage at BBC Radio 3, where I’m pretty sure everyone speaks French.

He replaces outgoing Radio 3 boss Roger Wright, who announced he was leaving the Corporation to join Aldeburgh Music earlier this year. Though unlike his predecessor, Davey will not hold the concurrent job of Director of the BBC Proms, with another person expected to be appointed into that job imminently, who will then report into Davey.

Confirming his new role, Davey told reporters: “Radio 3, the BBC Performing Groups [the Beeb’s orchestras and choir] and the Proms together form one of our most important cultural institutions and a beacon of excellence, there to help everyone discover the best in music, arts and ideas. It is an honour to be asked to lead this wonderful institution and to renew it for the digital age, helping new audiences to encounter the wonderful things serious music and culture can bring”.

Meanwhile, in a memo to staff at the Arts Council, Davey wrote: “When I was approached about applying to be controller of Radio 3, I knew that it would be the only job I could conceive of leaving the Arts Council for. Well, I eventually said yes to applying, and now I can confirm that I have got the job. I am more passionate than ever about the power that arts and culture has to transform lives and why it is so important that each and every one of us has the opportunity to experience that for ourselves. We’ve done some brilliant things [at the Arts Council] and there is more to do. And I know that all your skills and enthusiasm will make sure we do those things”.

Davey was a big champion within the Arts Council of the Momentum Music Fund, the funding body’s first scheme that directly funded non-classical/folk/jazz artists, an initiative which Davey himself launched at The Great Escape in 2013.