After graduating with an Honours Degree in Music from the University of Durham in 1970 his first job was as a “dogsbody” with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra where he first met the fifteen year old Simon Rattle – at that time, a young percussionist with the Merseyside Youth Orchestra. After 8 years in various roles in Liverpool he was appointed Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the age of 27. Simon Rattle became its Music Director two years later in 1980, and during their 18 year partnership the CBSO became the cornerstone of Birmingham’s renaissance as a centre of cultural excellence. Together they planned and executed a vast programme of international touring, recording and television projects and festivals including the ten year long ‘Towards the Millennium’ Festival in Birmingham, London and Vienna.
Ed was closely involved in the conception, design, construction and opening of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (1991) and the CBSO Centre (1998) – both projects with Artec of New York. He was also instrumental in the creation and development of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group with Simon Clugston and the expansion of the Symphony adult and youth choruses with Simon Halsey.
After 22 years with the CBSO he left to spend some time travelling, before becoming Executive Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2002.
In 2003 he was commissioned by the Sun Hung Kai Properties Foundation to conduct a study of the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing and make recommendations for its development. In 2004 he was appointed Managing and Artistic Director of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s National Orchestra and appointed Gustavo Dudamel as its Music Director in 2006. After 6 years in Gothenburg, Ed decided to leave Sweden to explore new opportunities.
He was Chairman of the Association of British Orchestras’ National Negotiating Committee from 1982 to 1985 and was presented with the Association’s Annual Award for Services to Orchestras in 2000. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England on Music Conservatoires and was the External Examiner for the Professional Performance Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he was subsequently invited to become a member of the Board of Governors. He was a jury member for the Malko International Conductors Competition in Copenhagen in 2009.
In 1990 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has guest lectured for the Royal Society of Arts and the ESCP Business School.
Since leaving Sweden in 2010 he has underaken a number of consultancy roles including interim Executive Director roles with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestras and worked with orchestras in Sweden, the UK, India and Europe.