Israeli Omer Meir Wellber has been made chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic orchestra.
Hailed by the BBC as “one of the most sought after young conductors of his generation”, he will debut in his new role at the BBC Proms in London in September next year.
Wellber, 36, has previous experience with the BBC Philharmonic, having led the orchestra for the first time in March this year.
He succeeds Spanish maestro Juanjo Mena, who led the BBC Philharmonic from 2011 until August this year.
His role will focus on crafting the programme at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, where all concerts will be recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Wellber began his musical training at the age of five, playing the accordion and piano before developing an interest in composition.
After graduating from the Be’er Sheva conservatoire in Israel he was awarded a scholarship from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation to study from 2000 to 2008 under Eugene Zirlin at the Jerusalem Music Academy and in the Mendi Rodan Programme.
Simon Webb, the orchestra’s general manager, described Wellber’s “brilliance”, adding that he was “delighted” to have secured him as chief conductor.
He said: “Having seen Omer conducting a number of orchestras over the last year I have been fortunate to have experienced his brilliance first hand in a wide range of repertoire.
“His immediate connection with the BBC Philharmonic was evident in his first concert and we are now delighted to have secured one of the most sought after young conductors of his generation.”
Wellber said: “I first worked with the BBC Philharmonic in March and knew straight away that they were a very special group of people and exceptional musicians.
“Manchester and the whole region is an incredibly rich area culturally, so I can hardly wait to start planning seasons to come.”