Industry News: James Ainscough appointed CEO of the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has announced that James Ainscough is taking over as their new CEO.

Ainscough succeeds Craig Hassall, who stepped down in December, and starts in Spring 2023 tasked with delivering the Hall’s post Covid-19 business plan and its ongoing ambition to reach wider audiences.

Later this week, the Royal Albert Hall welcomes Cirque du Soleil back to the venue, with their spectacular show KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, which runs from 13 January to 5 March 2023.

James Ainscough’s most recent role is CEO at Help Musicians, a charity for professional musicians of all genres. He was formerly with the Royal Albert Hall from January 2008 to December 2017, initially as Director of Finance and Administration and then as Chief Operating Officer. He oversaw strategic and day-to-day artistic and commercial operations, customer services, marketing, fundraising, facilities and business services.

James Ainscough said in a press statement: “The Royal Albert Hall has always been close to my heart. It has been a privilege to lead Help Musicians for the past five years and the charity is in now in good spirit with a clear strategy, a strong sense of purpose, and a wonderful team of staff, trustees and partners. Only a really special opportunity, like ‘coming home’ to the Royal Albert Hall, could have tempted me to leave. There are multiple challenges ahead but those are what most energise me. I could not be more excited to return to work with the Hall’s dedicated team. Together we will ensure the Hall offers the most amazing events and experiences to the most diverse audiences. And recognising its privilege as a prominent and much-loved venue, we will do all we can to support and nurture the wider music ecosystem of which we are an integral part.”

Ian McCulloch, President of the Royal Albert Hall said: “James combines a passion for the promotion of music and cultural enlightenment with the vision and business skills required to lead the Hall through its next phase, applying financial prudence to extending our reach and our artistic ambitions. The Royal Albert Hall will benefit greatly from James’ experience, talent, enthusiasm and determination. We are delighted that he will soon be re-joining the team.”

Book tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS at the Royal Albert Hall

👤 📅9 January 2023
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📷 Main photo: James Ainscough - Royal Albert Hall


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