Southbank’s head of music becomes El Sistema advisor

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Marshall Marcus, head of music at the Southbank Centre, is to step down from the role to take up two new appointments linking the London venue with the Venezuelan orchestra initiative, El Sistema.

Marcus will remain at the Southbank, where he has been responsible for music programming since the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007. His new roles will see him leading the development of a partnership between Southbank Centre and El Sistema. Work has already begun on the collaboration, with Marcus having spent much of the autumn in Venezuela.

The project will see him developing a business plan to support a range of music partnerships nationally and internationally, advising the Centre for Social Action Through Music in Caracas, and facilitating staffing exchanges between it and the Southbank Centre. He will also oversee the creation of a new orchestra for El Sistema's Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar.

His new job titles will be: special project advisor for Southbank Centre's El Sistema project, and director of the Simon Bolivar Music Foundation's Venezuelan Baroque music programme.

Jude Kelly, artistic director of Southbank Centre, said: "We are very pleased to announce this research programme aimed at deepening the long-term partnership between Southbank Centre and El Sistema's Centre for Social Action Through Music in Caracas. I know we are lucky to have Marshall Marcus leading on the development of this research, and whilst I am very sorry to lose him from the music team after five exceptional years, this is an incredible opportunity for him. I know we all look forward with excitement to the new project, both here at Southbank Centre, and in Venezuela."