William Lyne, MBE
William Lyne, Director of Wigmore Hall, is one of the most
remarkable impresarios of our time whose original programming, forging of close
relationships with top international performers and discoveries of new artistic talent
have made Wigmore Hall both in-demand and the world's most prestigious recital venue.
William Lyne was appointed Director of Wigmore Hall in
1966. Although the Hall had been well known since 1901, it is Mr Lyne's directorship that
has moulded it into the most innovative and highly regarded recital and chamber venue in
the world. It has a unique atmosphere of both intimacy and prestige that has regularly
attracted the most sought after international soloists and has also made it the world's
premiere Hall for debuts of new artists.
One of William Lyne's major innovations was the creation of
the very first themed seasons of events in 1979/1980, which became a blueprint precedent
for subsequent similar programming elsewhere. In that first season William Lyne devised
the Faure series, with twenty-two concerts encapsulating all Faure's chamber works and
instrumental sonatas as well as a substantial selection of his instrumental music and
songs. Since then he has devised seasons' series devoted to an extremely wide variety of
music and performance, including the complete Britten songs, the chamber and instrumental
music and songs of Schumann, Bartok, and Janacek, British music, song recitals, and early
music. William Lyne also initiated the Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts, which have become
one of the popular highlights of London's cultural life.
William Lyne has brought the most sought after solo
performers in the world to Wigmore Hall and has forged with them close personal ties for
their return appearances. Some of the most highly prized relationships are with artists
such as Olaf Bar, Joshua Bell, Barbara Bonney, Cecilia Bartoli, Victoria de los Angeles,
Brigitte Fassbaender, Steven Isserlis, Sergei Leiferkus, Anne Sofie von Otter and András
Schiff, as well as the Lindsay Quartet and the Borodin Quartet. William Lyne has also
brought international jazz musicians to Wigmore Hall as part of an innovative and
extremely successful series of jazz events.
William Lyne is one of the world's most adept discoverers
and developers of new international artistic talent. Through his initiative top new young
artists whose careers have been launched and developed by the Wigmore Hall include Ian
Bostridge, Matthias Goerne, Wolfgang Holzmair and the Skampa Quartet of Prague. One of
William Lyne's newest projects is the Young Masters series at Wigmore Hall, which is
devoted to the presentation and development of the world's most outstandingly talented new
and young performers.
William Lyne's unique contribution to music and performers
has been acclaimed in many prestigious awards, including:
the Evening Standard's 'Outstanding Artistic Achievement
for Classical Music'
the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts
a Lifetime Achievement award from the Ambassadors for
an Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College of Music
an Honorary Membership of the Guildhall School of Music and
In May 1997 William Lyne was appointed Artistic Director of
Musica Viva in Australia.