The Barbican has announced the appointment of Huw Humphreys as its new head of music.
The appointment follows the departure of Angela Dixon who was named director of the Saffron Hall Trust Essex from March 2014. Humphreys’ previous roles include director of artistic planning at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, general manager of the European Union Youth Orchestra and eight years at Askonas Holt, including four years as head of tours and projects. He studied music at Oxford University where he was awarded a music scholarship at Winchester College.
Louise Jeffreys, director of arts at the Barbican, said: ‘We’re delighted to appoint Huw to this vital role at the Barbican. His experience of working with international artists and arts organisations, as well as his role in nurturing young talent as part of the European Union Youth Orchestra, makes him the perfect candidate to help deliver our vision of world-class arts and learning.
‘Huw’s work at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has shown him to be a truly innovative and visionary leader and we’re looking forward to the new perspectives he will bring to the Barbican’s outstanding music programme.’
Of his new position, Humphreys said: ‘After eight years with the wonderful Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, I am thrilled to be returning home to be taking up the position of head of music at the Barbican. The opportunity to be working with such a talented and dedicated team and to collaborate with such extraordinary resident and associate ensembles proved to be an irresistible offer. I look forward to working in the Barbican’s stimulating environment and contributing to its world-class cultural programme.’
Huw’s achievements at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra include the appointments of Sir Andrew Davis and Diego Matheuz as chief conductor and principal guest conductor respectively, festivals and commissioning projects with composers including Thomas Adès, Brett Dean and Matthias Pintscher, securing the orchestra’s debut performances at a number of major European Festivals and the expansion and development of the MSO’s education and outreach programme.
He will begin his new role at the Barbican in late August 2014.