Peter Craddock, founder of the Havant Orchestras, retired as conductor of Havant Symphony Orchestra in December 2012 after fifty years in the post, as announced during the previous season, and also had to step down as conductor of Havant Chamber Orchestra at the same time due to increasing mobility problems.
Peter was subsequently awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music, especially as founder of Havant Symphony Orchestra and Havant Chamber Orchestra, in the New Year Honours List for 2015.
Peter unfortunately never regained full health and died in October 2017. He is greatly missed by those who enjoyed making music with him.
As originally planned, the Havant Symphony Orchestra was initially conducted by guest conductors following Peter’s retirement, mostly selected from candidates who had expressed an interest in taking on the job of HSO chief conductor and musical director.
Following the HSO concert with Jonathan Butcher in November 2013, the players and committee felt that he would be ideal for the job, so we asked him to take over as principal conductor of HSO for the 2014-15 season, on a trial basis, with a long-term appointment as musical director to follow provided that he and the players were happy to continue. This was confirmed, and we are pleased that Jonathan Butcher was appointed as Musical Director of HSO, with effect from September 2015.
For the Havant Chamber Orchestra, Robin Browning stepped in very successfully at short notice and agreed to continue as conductor for the 2014-15 season. The HCO players enjoyed working with him, and Robin Browning was appointed as Musical Director of HCO, with effect from September 2015.
Further information about previous guest conductors is mostly available via links from the relevant conductor name on the concert programme web pages.