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Scottish Ensemble (SE) announces today that Thorben Dittes will leave SE in September 2014, following his appointment as Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme at Sage Gateshead. His leadership of the organisation has been marked by significant achievements over the last four years.

The introduction of a new model of regional touring – Scottish Ensemble City Residencies – has seen audience engagement and participation in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, and Perth increase substantially. This has led to strengthened relationships in these important centres, with a range of performance formats and off-platform activities as part of a new, innovative model of interaction between SE and local communities.

In recent years Dittes has also overseen the development of SE’s international profile. Engagements have included a major 11-date tour of the USA, two tours to the Far East, and the development of relationships across Europe, where SE has been touring for many years.

Under his stewardship SE has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Creative Scotland, with their increased investment in the organisation enabling the expanded activities as part of the City Residency programme. This has been matched by a significant increase in earned and fundraised income from individuals, trusts and foundations and local authorities, placing the organisation on a strong financial footing to deliver its ambitious annual programme of concerts, events, and creative learning opportunities.

Dittes has built a strong management team to take forward the future plans of the organisation. In light of this positive internal position, the SE board has taken the decision to appoint Fraser Anderson as General Manager (Interim), and Jenny Jamison as Director of Artistic Planning (Interim). Both will step up from their current positions within the organisation.

Scottish Ensemble Chief Executive Thorben Dittes said:

Over the last four years I have very much enjoyed working with artistic director Jonathan Morton, the wonderful SE musicians, an engaged chairman and board, as well as a first-class office team, to extend Scottish Ensemble’s reach and profile in Scotland and beyond. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of these colleagues and SE’s many external partners for their help and support.
The existing City Residency Programme combined with the ambitious plans for the future recently submitted to Creative Scotland, place the company in a strong position going forward, and I wish the team all the very best.

Scottish Ensemble Chairman Ian Dickson said:

Scottish Ensemble’s achievements over the last four years under Thorben’s leadership as our Chief Executive have been immense. His new appointment at Sage is testimony to that and he leaves with my, and my Board’s, sincere thanks and with our best wishes.

A major element of Thorben’s legacy at the Ensemble is the strong management team which he has built and nurtured.  Fraser Anderson and Jenny Jamison, as key members of that team, have each played major roles in the conception and development of ambitious plans for the next three years. The Board is delighted, therefore, to announce their appointments, which are the product of successful staff development, and will ensure that Scottish Ensemble continues to go from strength to strength.

Creative Scotland Portfolio Manager Music Ian Smith said:

Thorben Dittes has been a highly effective Chief Executive at the Scottish Ensemble. His tenure has been marked by organisational growth, and a number of significant achievements, not least the residency programme that now enhances the Ensemble’s excellent profile in Scotland. The Ensemble has also established an international reputation for the highest quality performance, which we welcome. I wish Thorben well in his new role.