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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 15:24 GMT
New conductor for BBC orchestra
Jiri Belolhavek
Jiri Belolhavek is the 12th person to conduct the orchestra
Jiri Belohlavek has been named as the new chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, replacing previous conductor Leonard Slatkin.

The 58-year-old, a former artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is the 12th person to take the helm of the orchestra.

He will take up the position officially at the first night of the Proms 2006.

The orchestra, famous for appearing at the first and last night of the proms, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Mr Behlolavek was principal guest conductor of the orchestra for four years from 1995 and more recently appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

"Jiri is someone who the orchestra respects and knows very well," said the orchestra's general manager, Paul Hughes.

"His music making is second to none and at this stage when his career is going through the roof we are very lucky to have him."

Mr Belohlavek said: "The BBC and its orchestra always had a great deal of respect in my country when I was growing up and that remains the case now."

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