MUSIC / Upbeat: Musical chairs

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The Independent Culture
THE HOTTEST manager's seat among the London orchestras - a mobile piece of furniture that currently belongs to the Royal Philharmonic - has a new occupant-in-waiting. It is Paul Findlay, opera director at Covent Garden. He will follow Ian Maclay, who is off to join Mark McCormack's IMG after rows with the Arts Council about underfunding and stories of board disputes over policy. Will the orchestra tone down its hugely successful pursuit of commercial work in order to throw the spotlight more directly on to its front-line London and regional concerts? Findlay's mainstream background suggests it will, no doubt to the pleasure of music director Vladimir Ashkenazy. But lips at the RPO are sealed until he is in post early next year.