Nicholas Kenyon (CBE) is the managing director of the Barbican Centre. He was born in 1951 and read History at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked for the English Bach Festival and the BBC Music Department as well as working as a freelance writer on music, and joined The New Yorker as a music critic from 1979-82. On returning to Britain, he became music critic for The Times and the Music Editor of The Listener. He was appointed Editor of the journal Early Music in 1983, and in 1987 became Chief Music Critic of The Observer. In 1991 he was Artistic Adviser to the South Bank Centre's festival Mozart Now, which won a Royal Philharmonic Society award.
In March 1992 he was appointed Controller, BBC Radio 3, and was responsible for the award-winning seasons Fairest Isle (1995) and Sounding the Century (1997-1999). He was appointed Director of the BBC Proms from the 1996 season and moved to the new post of Controller, BBC Proms and Millennium Programmes in November 1998. He oversaw the BBC's programming for the millennium celebrations, and in 2000 became Controller BBC Proms, Live Events and Television Classical Music, a position he held until taking up his post at the Barbican in October this year.
He is the author of The BBC Symphony Orchestra: the first fifty years (1981), and The Faber Pocket Guide to Mozart (2005) and edited the influential volume Authenticity and Early Music (1987). He is the co-editor of the Viking/Penguin Opera Guide. In 2001 he published Simon Rattle: from Birmingham to Berlin, an updated version of his earlier biography of the conductor. In 2002 he edited the BBC Proms Pocket Guide to Great Symphonies and BBC Proms Pocket Guide to Great Concertos. He is Consultant Editor on The Proms – A New History, published in 2007.
For many years he was a member of the Arts Council's Music Advisory Panel and the South Bank Centre's Music Advisory Panel, and he was a board member of London Arts. He is now a member of the Board of English National Opera, a Governor of Wellington School and of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a member of the Board of Management of the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AHRC], and a Trustee of the Dartington Hall Trust.
In 2001 he was award a CBE for his services to music and millennium broadcasting. He is married with four children and lives in London.
[Photograph: Eamonn McCabe]
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