PPL Chairman John Smith receives ABO Special Award

John Smith was recognised at the annual Association of British Orchestras Rhinegold Awards.

PPL Chairman John Smith was recognised at the annual ABO (Association of British Orchestras) Rhinegold Awards at a gala dinner in Cardiff last Thursday (25 January) which forms part of the wider ABO Conference – the UK’s leading conference for classical music. 

John, the former General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union received the prestigious ABO Special Award recognising his distinguished career in classical music. John’s career has spanned 20 years with the English National Opera as Principal Tuba (1974-94), through to his work at the Musicians’ Union, firstly as an activist and then as General Secretary from 2002 until his retirement in 2017.   

In addition to his UK activities, John has been President of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) since 2004 undertaking duties which include representing musicians’ interests in discussions with organisations such as UNESCO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the European Commission.  He also assists FIM with its work in developing countries, has been a director of a number of various UK music industry organisations including the umbrella industry body UK Music and served as a member of both the TUC General Council and the TUC Executive Committee.  Most recently, John was elected Chairman of PPL in July 2015 with the role taking effect from January 2016.

John Smith commented“It is a very proud moment for me to be recognised with the ABO Special Award. I have been very lucky to have had a long career in an industry that I love, both as a performer with the likes of the English National Opera but also on the business side with my roles at the Musicians’ Union, UK Music and currently PPL. I hope that my work and campaigning has made some sort of difference to the working conditions of performers of all backgrounds and levels of experience. I would like to thank the ABO and Rhinegold for this very kind accolade.” 

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