Joanna MacGregor has been announced as the artistic director of the Dartington International Summer School from 2015, initially on a three-year contract.
MacGregor will take over from Nicholas Daniel after this year’s summer school, Daniel having been taken on with a one-year contract, as announced last year.
‘Joanna has been recruited to help build on the successes of the summer school, develop new approaches with other arts activities at Dartington and restore the four week format,’ read a statement.
The 2014 summer school will be only three weeks long, as opposed to the long-established five-week model, a change made ‘due to reduced demand for the 2013 summer school’ according to a Dartington spokesperson. With strong sales this year, however, the plan is to step up to four weeks in 2015.
MacGregor was artistic director of the Bath International Music Festival from 2006 to 2012 and is head of piano at the Royal Academy of Music. She was made a professor of the University of London in autumn 2013 ‘in recognition of her outstanding contribution both to the Academy and to international musical life’.
Dartington has a reputation for bringing amateurs and professional musicians together and is well-known for attracting artists of international calibre to work as tutors. Before Daniel, directors were the composer John Woolrich, Gavin Henderson, Peter Maxwell Davies and William Glock.
Tutors in 2014 include pianists Anna Tilbrook, Christian Blackshaw, Katya Apekisheva and Tom Poster, soprano Emma Kirkby, conductor Sian Edwards, viol consort Fretwork, violist Philip Dukes, and composers Colin Matthews and John Woolrich.
MacGregor said of her appointment: ‘Having been involved with the summer school for many years I am delighted to take on this exciting role and to have the opportunity to shape the future of this wonderful celebration of music and creativity.’
Daniel said he was ‘delighted’ that MacGregor would be taking over from him. ‘I have known her for many years and know that she understands the school’s unique blend of professional and amateur, how it helps people to revitalise, educate and learn, and how it can form unique creative partnerships. All of these things help make the summer school what it is.’
This year’s summer school runs 26 July – 15 August.