Picture of Robert PonsonbyRobert Ponsonby has had a long and distinguished career as Artistic Director and Music Administrator at the highest level. 
From 1956 to 1960 he was Director of the Edinburgh Festival, where he presented La Scala Opera House with Maria Callas, the Hamburg State Opera, Beecham and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Ballet, the Old Vic Company, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the Jerome Robbins and the Jean Babilée ballet companies, and many others. 
After a period spent in New York and the Bahamas as a freelance consultant, and then back in London with the Independent Television Authority, in 1964 he became General Administrator of the Scottish National Orchestra. One of the highlights of this period was the Orchestra's first overseas tour, with Jacqueline du Pré and Janet Baker as soloists. From 1972 to 1985 he was Controller of Music at the BBC, responsible, in particular, for the BBC's Symphony Orchestra and the Proms. He was also Director of the Commonwealth Arts Festival in Glasgow and of the Canterbury Festival. 
Robert Ponsonby has been associated with many organisations: the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Purcell School, the Young Concert Artists Trust, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Council for Music in Hospitals, the Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Trust, the Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, the Wingate Scholarships, the Gulbenkian Foundation. 
He has adjudicated for the Artur Rubinstein International Pianoforte Competition and the Rupert Foundation Young Conductors Awards, has contributed essays, reviews and obituaries to several major newspapers and magazines, and has broadcast talks and interviews on BBC Radio (3, Scotland, World Service) and BBC-TV, as well as on radio stations abroad. 


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