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A message about Artistic Director Will Gompertz

The Barbican announces today that Will Gompertz, the Barbican's Artistic Director, will leave the Barbican in the autumn to become the new Director of the Sir John Soane's Museum.

Will became Artistic Director of the Barbican in 2021, helping reopen the Centre after the pandemic. He has been responsible for a bold, diverse programme, delivering on the Barbican’s purpose to inspire, connect and provoke debate: from presenting the 2022 World Premier of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s My Neighbour Totoro – which broke all Barbican box-office records and returns in November – to the current critically acclaimed exhibition differently various, presented in collaboration with the brain injury charity Headway East London.

Claire Spencer, CEO of the Barbican, said:

"Will is known to everybody at the Barbican for his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm. The generosity of spirit he has shown me personally in the 15 months we've worked together is unmatched. We're very sad to say goodbye to him but excited to see what he will achieve in his new role, and we wish him all the best. He leaves behind him a strong legacy of projects delivered and still in development and his positive impact on the Barbican will be felt for a long time to come."

Tom Sleigh, Chair of the Barbican Board, said:

"Will’s artistic vision has re-invigorated the Barbican’s artistic and educational offer. I couldn’t be more pleased for him to be taking up this nationally important new role, and want to thank him on behalf of the Board and the City of London Corporation for all that he has done for the Barbican, including stepping up as Joint Interim Managing Director for nine months from September 2021. It is wonderful to see talented members of the Barbican team go on to great things elsewhere, and we wish him well.”