|Thursday, 01 December 2011 15:08|
NEXT year’s Buxton Festival will bear two distinctions: it will be the biggest ever, with a budget of £1.4m; it will also be the last to be masterminded by Glyn Foley.
After 14 years at the helm, Glyn is stepping down from the post of chief executive at the end of the 2012 event: “I think it’s the right time for me to move on, and for the Festival to have some new blood and new ideas,” he says.
Audiences have tripled to more than 43,000 during Glyn’s tenure and Buxton is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, attracting extensive national media attention.
Chairman Dame Janet Smith says: “Glyn’s contribution has been immense; he has transformed the Festival both artistically and financially. We now begin the search for a new chief executive who can build on this success.”
In recent years the Festival has expanded to 19 days of intense activity, comprising three Festival opera productions and around 150 other events, as well as an education and community programme.
Despite that growth, Buxton Festival remains a friendly celebration, prized by audiences and performers alike. Says Glyn: “It has been very rewarding to see the work we put on enjoyed so much.
“It’s very enjoyable to stand outside the Opera House after a performance and listen to people as they come out, thrilled or entertained by what they’ve seen. It’s also good to put artists in touch with receptive audiences and I know a lot of the opera singers have been very supportive of the Festival.
“I have also enjoyed working with three Festival chairmen, three artistic directors and the rest of the team – not to mention lots of businesses and organisations in Buxton.”
The Board of Trustees will now begin the recruitment process for a replacement for this pivotal role. Dame Janet says: “This is a very exciting time to join the Festival: we are financially stable, critically acclaimed and well-regarded by our growing audiences.”
The next chief executive will work in collaboration with new artistic director Stephen Barlow, an experienced opera conductor and a distinguished pianist and composer.
Meanwhile, Glyn hopes to retain his links with the Festival as a performer. He will take to the stage, as he has in previous years, with the other members of bassoon quartet A Good Reed?
Thanks to Pure magazine for contributing this article.