The chief executive of Suffolk cultural charity Britten Pears Arts says he is “humbled” to receive a knighthood from the King.

Roger Wright, of Halesworth, has been made a knight bachelor in the King’s Birthday Honours list for services to music.

Sir Roger became chief executive of Aldeburgh Music in 2014 and has presided over an eventful time in its history.

The period included the purchase of the Snape Maltings site in 2015 and the merger of the Britten Pears Foundation and Snape Maltings (formerly Aldeburgh Music) to form Britten Pears Arts.

The organisation became the Britten Pears Arts charity in April 2020, when Snape Maltings, formerly Aldeburgh Music, and the Britten-Pears Foundation merged.

After a decade leading Britten Pears Arts, Sir Roger will stand down as chief executive at the end of July, to be succeeded by Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival.

Sir Roger was humbled by the award.Sir Roger was humbled by the award. (Image: Dan Nickells)

Sir Roger began his professional life in 1978 at the British Music Information Centre and also worked as a freelance writer and broadcaster with specialist knowledge of British 20th century music.

He was then appointed senior producer at the BBC Symphony Orchestra before becoming artistic administrator of The Cleveland Orchestra in the USA in 1989.

Three years later, he moved to Hamburg to take the post of vice president, artists and pepertoire, at Deutsche Grammophon, before returning to the BBC in 1997 in the newly created post of head of classical music, where he led the BBC’s orchestras and choirs.

In 1998, he became controller of BBC Radio 3 and in 2007 also became the director of the BBC Proms.

In September 2014, he joined Aldeburgh Music, now Britten Pears Arts.

Sir Roger said: “I am really humbled to be awarded this honour. I am privileged to work with a remarkable team of colleagues at Britten Pears Arts and this award is as much a recognition for their hard work and commitment as it is for me.

“We all believe strongly in the power of music and the arts to transform people’s lives, and it is has been a deep joy for me to lead this unique organisation over the last decade.”

Sir Simon Robey, chair of Britten Pears Arts, added: “This recognition is so richly deserved, not only for his extraordinary work with us at Britten Pears Arts but for his broad and exceptional contribution to the musical life of our country.

“Sir Roger, everyone associated with BPA is proud of you and thrilled for you.”