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New Head of Orchestra Operations Appointed at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Collaborating with Renowned Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced the appointment of Claire Dersley as the Company’s new Head of Orchestra Operations, effective from 1 July. This new role will see Dersley working closely with the acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Paul Murphy, the Company’s new Music Director and Principal Conductor (also starting on 1 July), expressed his excitement about Dersley joining the team. He highlighted her wealth of orchestral management experience and genuine passion for the Company, expressing his eagerness to collaborate with her.

In response, Claire Dersley expressed her enthusiasm for the new role, stating, “I’m thrilled to accept the position of Head of Orchestra Operations with Birmingham Royal Ballet. I look forward to working closely with Paul Murphy to continue and expand upon the fantastic work that he and Koen Kessels have already been undertaking with the orchestra.”

Dersley brings a strong background in orchestral management, having served as the Orchestra Manager at City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2009. During her time there, she built strong relationships with musicians and worked closely with prominent Music Directors such as Andris Nelsons, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and Kazuki Yamada.

With extensive touring experience across Europe and internationally, Dersley has been involved in prestigious projects including the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, BBC Proms, and recording series with renowned conductors.

Before her tenure at CBSO, Dersley worked at BBC Concert Orchestra, gaining valuable experience in TV and radio broadcasts, CD recordings, and festival performances. A trained cellist, she studied music at Southampton University before transitioning into arts administration.

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra, is recognized as Britain’s busiest ballet orchestra. In addition to touring with Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet Sinfonia collaborates with other leading ballet companies worldwide.

Under the direction of internationally renowned Carlos Acosta, Birmingham Royal Ballet is known for its diverse repertoire, performing traditional, classical, and new works to promote choreographic innovation. The Company predominantly showcases its performances at Birmingham Hippodrome and tours both nationally and internationally throughout the year.

Moreover, music plays a central role in BRB’s activities, with a commitment to commissioning new orchestral music for ballet. Through initiatives like the Ballet Now programme, Birmingham Royal Ballet has championed the creation of new orchestral works, contributing significantly to the ballet industry.

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