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Barbican Managing Director Sir Nicholas Kenyon to step down after 14 years to take up posts in music criticism and research

The Barbican today announces that its Managing Director, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, is to step down in September 2021 after 14 years, to take up posts in music criticism and research.

Nicholas Kenyon said: ‘It has been an immense privilege to lead the Barbican over the past 14 years, which has continued to be at the forefront of innovative arts through the superb work of so many colleagues. I have been planning this move for a while but wanted to ensure certain measures were in place before stepping down. After the very difficult period of the last year, the Barbican is now beginning to reopen and serve our audiences again, we have a new Director of Arts & Learning in place, and we have a plan for the way forward post-Covid. So, it’s now time to hand over the next stage in the life of this great institution to others, and for the Barbican to have fresh leadership for a new generation.

‘For me personally, after some 30 years of management, I wish to return to my roots in music writing, criticism and research, and will now be taking up new appointments in these fields. I would like to thank everyone within the organisation for their dedication, creativity and talent which have collectively enabled us to bring so many wonderful artistic events and encounters to the public.’

Tom Sleigh, Chair of the Barbican Centre Board, said: ‘I want to pay tribute to Nick and his remarkable record of service to the Barbican and the arts in this nation, taking the international reputation of the Centre to new heights, and most recently leading it through the extremely difficult period of Covid. There will be time for other tributes later, but the Board is now focused on beginning a search for a successor; whoever we appoint will have a hard act to follow. In the meantime, I know Nick will navigate us through the coming months as we hopefully reopen fully.’