Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber has been appointed chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. He will take up the post in September 2019, initially for four years.

He will conduct the orchestra in its concert series at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, as well as at the BBC Proms and on international tours. All concerts will be recorded or broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

He succeeds Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena, who has been in the role since 2011.

Simon Webb, general manager of the BBC Philharmonic, said: ‘Having seen Omer conducting a number of orchestras over the last 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.’

Omer Meir Wellber described the orchestra as ‘a very special group of people and exceptional musicians,’ adding, ‘Manchester and the whole region is an incredibly rich area culturally, so I can hardly wait to start planning seasons to come.’

He is currently principal guest conductor at Semperoper Dresden, and since 2009 has been music director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra in Israel. In January 2020 he will begin his tenure as music director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.