Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society

The Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society Limited was established in 1941 to promote and assist the study, practice, knowledge and appreciation of music, and generally advance the cause of music.

It aims to bring pleasure to the local community through providing high quality, varied classical music programmes, professionally performed, at realistic prices to the audience, within the Society’s available resources.

The principal forum for these activities is the Brighton Dome, where the Society presents an annual series of professional orchestral concerts by the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.



Mission Statement
Our Vision
Enriching the lives of people in Brighton & Hove, and beyond.
Our Mission
The Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society provides the opportunity for the widest possible audience in the South East to experience and enjoy high quality orchestral music by:
  • delivering varied, innovative, engaging and accessible concert programmes, performed at the very highest level by the professional musicians of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • putting our belief in the power of music into effect by reaching out to diverse audiences, including those who would not normally listen to orchestral music, and making educational activity a priority.


The 79th Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday 1 December 2019. The Minutes of the AGM will be published here in due course.

Directors/Trustees of BHPS

Daniel Bhattacharya

Elected to the Board 2013

Previously a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Daniel has been playing with the BPO for 20 years and is currently Principal Second Violin, whilst also enjoying a career performing and teaching throughout the world.

Daniel studied as a scholar at the Purcell School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). As a soloist and chamber musician, Daniel has performed at the Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall (New York), Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford) and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London).

Formerly Head of Strings at Stowe School he is now violin tutor at Lancing College and Peter Symonds College, Winchester. Daniel works with many Youth Orchestras nationally and internationally and regularly coaches at the Royal College of Music.

Daniel lives in Brighton and is co-founder and artistic director of the Alfriston Summer Music Festival.

Clare Bowskill

Elected to the Board 2019

Clare brings more than 20 years of experience in communications working for major television networks including ITV and BBC Worldwide and as Head of Publicity for a major charity. More recently she moved into the world of performing arts as the Visitor Services Manager for Brighton Dome and Festival working directly with audience and Front of House teams. This year Clare has been working on Artist Communications with the agency Owen White Management and has taken on several consultancy projects with a number of opera companies and classical music festivals. 

Clare is dedicated to working on the creative side of communications with a particular speciality in digital communications and brand marketing. A Brighton resident, she is also a keen amateur musician and singer with a specialist knowledge of early music and Gregorian chant. 

Ken Childerhouse

Elected to the Board 2015

Ken is a retired University academic (relating education policy and development to business administration) who currently chairs the Brighton & Hove Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel.

Ken has had a keen interest in music since he was a choirboy and member of the school choir, which was fuelled by teenage visits to the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Rosebery Avenue. Living in Maiden Lane meant being able to enjoy opera on a regular basis at the ENO and he became a Friend of Covent Garden. Other hobbies included playing club cricket for many years and travelling round Europe exploring its history and local cuisines.

In retirement, Ken has continued his European travels with his wife Asta, enjoying visits to a variety of Opera Houses and Concert Halls including Drottningholm, Vienna and Berlin. They have also enjoyed bringing their garden into mature fruition. Since living in Brighton they have become regular Brighton Philharmonic concert-goers as well as making the most of their proximity to Glyndebourne.

Andrea Cifelli (Chair)

Elected to the Board 2017

Elected as Chairman November 2019

Andrea was born and raised in Scotland and has a degree in Biomedical Science, initially pursuing a career in academic research that brought her to London. A move into the pharmaceutical industry eventually led her to Sussex and to her current career as a freelance consultant in medical communications.

Despite the scientific leanings to her education and career, Andrea has had a lifelong passion for all kinds of music and – having taken up brass and reed playing in adulthood – is a player and committee member in a number of local brass and wind bands. She and her Brighton-born husband have supported the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra since moving to Brighton in 2002, and she remembers fondly her first concert – a wonderful performance with London Brass joining the orchestra for the opening movement of Janacek’s Sinfonietta.

Andrea is delighted at the prospect of being able to give something back to the organization that has given her so much pleasure over the years!

Bob Cook

(Honorary Treasurer)

Elected to the Board 2019

Elected as Honorary Treasurer 2019

Bob is a long term Brighton resident and after obtaining a degree in economics has worked as an accountant in financial administration, starting with East Sussex County Council and then for over 30 years with the University of Brighton. The focus of a career totalling over 40 years has been education finance, specialising in the support of capital development, borrowing and investment and financial planning/forecasting.

A jazz fan, attendance at concerts and festivals has been combined with a love of travel. The continued strength of jazz in Scandinavia has led to annual visits to the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and regular trips to jazz clubs in Oslo, Stockholm and southern Sweden. Bob has a strong commitment to both education and all forms of music.

Neil Huzinga

Elected to the Board 2018

Studying and performing music has been a part of Neil’s life since the age of five. Never a professional musician, Neil has sung and played with world-renowned artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sir Michael Tippett as part of amateur and semi-professional orchestras and choirs.

Professionally, Neil began his career in the City of London, working as an underwriter for a large American insurance company. However, since 2000 he has started and grown a series of small businesses in the financial services sector.

Most recently he left the business he co-founded in 2003, after selling it successfully to private equity investors in 2014, and now spends his time working with owners of other small businesses to help them get the most out of what they already have, as well as to create and take advantage of opportunities to help shape their future.

Blending both music and business in his own life, Neil is keen to see talent in or experience of music consistently recognised as not just a hobby, passion or vocation, but as a life-skill that brings huge benefit to even the most scientific or technical of professions.

Norman Jacobs

Elected to the Board 2017

Norman is the founding Artistic Director of MOOT (music of our time), a registered charity organisation promoting music arts education in Brighton & Hove.

MOOT has created over 100 events in several series: ‘The Musicians Body’, ‘Music is for Everyone (Music & Disability)’, ‘Sounds of War – Instruments of Peace’, ‘Music for Curious Minds’, ’Crossing Boundaries: Music at the Edge’ and ‘Listen America!’ ‘Music for Two Pianos’ was a key local Parliament Week event in 2017 featuring 21 pianists including local MP Caroline Lucas. Last year, a MOOT event was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 for the programme ‘Hear & Now’.

Norman, a pianist and occasional percussionist, is keen to attract local amateur musicians from age 6 to 60+ to engage actively in playing, singing, listening, composing and learning about music.

Norman is a member of the Strings Attached committee. He recently stepped down as a lunchtime concerts curator after two years of running weekly concerts at St Nicholas’ Church, Brighton.

Chris Thomson

Elected to the Board 2012

Chris Thomson recently retired as Principal of Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) a post he had held since 1998. Prior to this he spent four years teaching in Italy and subsequently at sixth form colleges in the UK.

Attendant at Board meetings

Ian Brignall (Artistic Administrator)

Ian became BPO’s Concert Manager in October 2009 after a career as a professional Violinist, working with the Philharmonia and other London Orchestras performing great music with great musicians in venues all over the world. This was followed by a second career as an Orchestra Manager, firstly with the Orchestra of English National Opera and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and short spells as Personnel Manager at the Philharmonia and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra. His job title was changed to Artistic Administrator in 2018 to more accurately reflect the work he does engaging guest artists to perform with the Brighton Phil.  In addition to his role at the BPO Ian works as a concerts and tours manager working with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and as a tours manager for IMG artists.

Simon Keane (representing the John Carewe Brighton Orchestra Trust)

Simon attends Board meetings as a non-voting member representing the John Carewe Brighton Orchestra Trust of which he is a Trustee.  Simon, who is a retired accountant, has previously served as a full member of the Board from 1992-2001, was the BPO’s Stage Manager for 25 years and was a founding member of the Young Phil in the 1950s.  He was also a Trustee of the Brighton Youth Orchestra Trust from 1993-1998.

Catherine Stead (General Administrator/Company Secretary)

Elected as Company Secretary November 2014

Catherine joined BHPS in June 2014 as part-time General Administrator, having previously managed the Conferences & Events department of the University of Sussex for nearly 20 years. A keen singer, she performs with the Brighton Orpheus Choir and Women of Note, a ladies choir. She was elected as Company Secretary at the Society’s AGM in November 2014.

Officers of BHPS

Conductor Laureate:
Barry Wordsworth, D.LITT

John Lill, CBE

John Carewe, David House, Jackie Lythell, OBE, Karen Platt, Ronald Power, MBE

Andrea Cifelli

Hon. Treasurer:
Bob Cook

Artistic Administrator:
Ian Brignall

General Administrator/Company Secretary:
Catherine Stead

Accounts & Renewals Administrator:
Glynis Leaney

Charles Strickland

Mark Attwell

David Gerrard, ARPS

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