Roger Wright (music administrator)

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Pierre Boulez and Roger Wright

Roger William Wright CBE (born 15 August 1956, Manchester)[1] is an English arts administrator. He is currently the Chief executive of Aldeburgh Music.[2]

Wright was educated at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester, and played the cello as a youth. He studied music at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and earned a B.Mus. in 1977. On graduation, he took a sabbatical year, 1977–78, as the elected President of the Student Union.[3]

From 1978 to 1987, Wright worked at the British Music Information Centre (BMIC), as librarian and manager, then as director.[3] He served as a senior producer for the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1987 to 1989. He became the artistic administrator of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1989. He left his Cleveland post in 1992 for Deutsche Grammophon (DG), where he became an executive director and vice-president, and worked there until 1997.[4]

In March 1997, Wright took up the newly created BBC post of Head of Classical Music, in charge of the BBC's orchestras, choirs, and bands.[4] In 1998, he became Controller of Radio 3. During his Radio 3 tenure he raised the profile of jazz and world music, causing controversy among listeners.[5][6][7][8][9] Other Radio 3 programming changes such as a perceived diminution of live music broadcasts have also attracted controversy.,[10] in addition to a perceived dilution of the level of programming.[11] Wright was named Director of the BBC Proms in April 2007[12] and formally took up the post in October 2007, succeeding Nicholas Kenyon. In March 2014, he announced his resignation from the BBC to become chief executive at Aldeburgh Music, effective September 2014.[2] He formally stood down as Controller of Radio 3 and of The Proms in July 2014.[13]

In 2002, Wright was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Royal Holloway College. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Music and a Fellow of the Radio Academy. His publications include the volume New Music 1989, in collaboration with Michael Finnissy.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to music.[14][15]

Wright and his wife Rosie, a yoga teacher, have two children,[6] Alice and William.


  1. ^ "birthdays". The Guardian. 15 August 2014. p. 39.
  2. ^ a b "Roger Wright to leave the BBC" (Press release). BBC Media Centre. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b Robert Beale (17 July 2008). "Roger's journey to Proms". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  4. ^ a b "My Life in Media: Roger Wright". The Independent. 13 December 2004. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  5. ^ Jessica Hodgson (10 May 2001). "Radio 3 suffers drop in listeners". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b Peter Culshaw (22 March 2003). "The phat controller". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  7. ^ Charlotte Higgins (6 November 2003). "The Third way". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  8. ^ Stephen Moss (6 May 2004). "'These people aren't being rational'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  9. ^ Elisabeth Mahoney (19 November 2004). "Weird and wonderful". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  10. ^ Charlotte Higgins (9 November 2006). "Don't touch that dial". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  11. ^ John Plunkett (24 March 2014). "Roger Wright's Radio 3 tenure not without controversy". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  12. ^ Ben Dowell (19 April 2007). "Radio 3's Wright to head BBC Proms". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  13. ^ Andrew Clements (17 July 2014). "Start of Proms marks end of Roger Wright's tenure as director". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  14. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N10.
  15. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List

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