Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham CEO, Andrew Jowett, OBE Announces Retirement

The trustees of Performances Birmingham Ltd – the charitable company which manages Symphony Hall and Town Hall – and Andrew Jowett, OBE, have announced that, after almost 28 years of managing the two concert halls, he will retire from the role of Chief Executive in April 2016.

Andrew Jowett commented, ‘”It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of the team which created Symphony Hall – the greatest concert hall to be built in the 20th century – and then to re-open and manage Birmingham’s historic Town Hall following its £35million renovation in 2007.

Symphony Hall is the symbol of Birmingham’s regeneration, a centre of excellence which mirrors the vision and commitment of the City’s leaders for over 250 years.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham are venues synonymous with high quality world class concert artists, bringing the best in the world of music to Birmingham. In particular, the establishment of the Birmingham International Concert Season has been particularly satisfying, creating the largest programme of classical music outside of London and connecting over half a million people to music each year.”

Anita Bhalla OBE, Chairman of the Performances Birmingham Ltd Board added, “Andrew Jowett has enabled both Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham to grow and sustain outstanding programmes of international quality and we are deeply indebted to his contribution to the development of Birmingham as one of the UK’s significant destinations for fans of classical and popular music and underpin Birmingham’s reputation as an international centre of cultural excellence. Andrew’s decision to retire is one that we have been planning for and we will now begin the process of finding his successor.”

Roger Burman CBE, former chairman of NEC Ltd and Performances Birmingham Ltd, said“ I was privileged to work with Andrew from the time he joined us until I retired last year. It is significantly due to Andrew that our two iconic venues have achieved their status among the best in Europe and enabled the region to experience the widest range of high class music from across the world. The City owes Andrew a great debt of gratitude for setting this standard for his successor to follow. No easy task!”

Andrew Jowett was appointed Director of Symphony Hall in 1988 – three years before it opened in 1991 to widespread public and critical acclaim – and also manages Town Hall, having overseen its hugely successful re-opening in 2007. Town Hall and Symphony Hall are a source of great pride to the people of Birmingham as well as being a major asset to the City’s local economy. In 2011 Andrew was awarded the Birmingham Civic Society’s Gold medal for services to the arts in Birmingham, and in 2012 Andrew was recognised for his outstanding lifelong contribution to music when awarded an OBE in HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee honours list.

Andrew said, “I am immensely proud to have played a part in shaping the arts in Birmingham, bringing a wealth of great international artists to Symphony Hall and Town Hall, and also furthering the work of the organisation in the city through its extensive education and community engagement programmes.
Throughout my 27 years at Symphony Hall and Town Hall I have been privileged to have been supported by a committed and knowledgeable Board of trustees, an enthusiastic and professional team of colleagues throughout PBL, generous friends and donors and over 10 million individual audience members. I have no doubt whatsoever that the successes of the last 25 years will be mirrored in the next 25, and that Symphony Hall and Town Hall will continue to be pre-eminent in the cultural life of Birmingham and the UK.


Notes to editor:

Andrew Jowett, OBE
Andrew Jowett has worked in the arts for over 30 years. On graduation from the University of Salford, he was appointed Assistant General Manager at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. From 1979-1981 Andrew was Director of Darlington Civic Theatre, and from 1982-1988 he was Director of the Arts Centre, University of Warwick. Since 1989 Andrew has been Director of Symphony Hall, Birmingham and is responsible for its artistic programming, operation, and management. From 2007 onwards, Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham have been managed together under the company Performances Birmingham Limited and Andrew is now Chief Executive of PBL as well as retaining overall directorial responsibility for Town Hall & Symphony Hall.
Andrew is Chair of the British Association of Concert Halls, a former Council Member and Vice President of UK Theatre Association, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton. He is a Trustee of the Young Musicians Trust, a Trustee of the Elgar Birthplace Foundation and Trustee of the Brant International Piano Competition. He is also a Member of the International Society for the Performing Arts and a Founding Member of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO). Andrew is an Honorary Fellow of Birmingham City University and is a recipient of the Birmingham Civic Society Gold Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to life in the city. In June 2012 he was awarded the OBE in HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours for services to music.

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