Award-winning success for Town Hall & Symphony Hall's Paul Keene

Director of Programming awarded first ‘Concert Hall Manager of the Year’ by Association of British Orchestras

Paul Keene, Town Hall & Symphony Hall Birmingham’s Director of Programming, has been honoured by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and Rhinegold Publishing as the first ever ‘Concert Hall Manager of the Year’. The award, presented at the ABO’s annual conference gala dinner last night (18 January) recognises the quality, creative ambition, diversity and formidable international partnerships which have been hallmarks of Paul’s programming both at Symphony Hall – fittingly, this year celebrating its 21st anniversary – and more recently Town Hall.

The citation asserts that the award is made in recognition of “the power of Paul’s personal vision, his tireless commitment to its delivery and rich contribution to cultural life in Birmingham and beyond” citing as examples a ‘quartet of standout events’ last season, all involving the partnering of visual arts with music: the Philharmonia’s Tristan und Isolde with vivid film projections by Bill Viola, Klaus Obermaier’s stunningly complex_ Rite of Spring 3D_, Thomas Adès’s In Seven Days with Tal Rosner’s visuals and the Houston Symphony Orchestra’s The Planets with HD footage from NASA.

Paul Keene is currently overseeing a major festival to celebrate Symphony Hall’s 21st anniversary which includes a series of Wagner operas, innovative projects, film screenings with live accompaniment, workshops and behind the scenes access.


Notes to Editors
The ASSOCIATION OF BRITISHORCHESTRAS is the national body which represents the collective interests of professional orchestras throughout the UK. The award is presented in partnership with RHINEGOLDPUBLISHING, the UK’s leading publisher for music and the performing arts.

Currently Director of Programming for Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Paul Keene studied Music at Cambridge University, where he was an organ scholar and choral conductor. During a career in music publishing he worked with many composers, authors and performers, commissioning a range of music and books on music. After stints in radio, freelance performance and journalism, his eclectic remit at Town Hall & Symphony Hall covers a wide range of activity, including contemporary music, classical, community programming, world music and jazz.

Symphony Hall celebrates 21 years of bringing great music to Birmingham with a vibrant and exciting festival of music, comedy, dance, film, family events and more, from January-July 2012. Further information from

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

Fiona Fraser/Lyle Bignon
Press & PR Manager/Assistant Press & PR Manager
T 0121 644 5008/0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Issued 19 January 2012