Rowan Rutter appointed Chief Executive Officer of City Of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia (CLS) is delighted to announce the appointment of Rowan Rutter as its incoming Chief Executive Officer.

Rowan Rutter joins CLS from HighTide, one of the UK’s leading new writing theatre companies, where she has been Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive for the past four years. She will take up post with CLS in April 2023 when its current acting Chief Executive Officer, Elaine Baines, will return to the post of Chief Operating Officer.

Rowan Rutter is an experienced and collaborative leader who has worked for a number of the UK’s leading cultural organisations, including Hull Truck Theatre, during Hull 2017 UK City of Culture; Avant Garde Dance; and Clean Break Theatre. In her most recent role as Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of HighTide she oversaw the repositioning of the organisation within the East of England cultural landscape, steering it through a global pandemic, and opening it up to diverse new talent. She leaves the organisation in robust financial health and as an Arts Council England NPO 2023-26.

With more than 15 years’ experience as an international producer, Rowan has presented critically and publicly-acclaimed stage productions with UK partners including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Leeds Playhouse, Northern Stage and Cardboard Citizens, and international partners including Market Theatre Johannesburg, Shanghai International Dance Festival, and Teatro Mayor Colombia. Her Opera productions with Bold Tendencies and the Multi-Storey Orchestra include Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Young Blood!, both directed by Polly Graham. Throughout her career, Rowan has been a passionate advocate for access and inclusion and in 2020 co-led the development of the ‘Anti-Racism for Theatre Rider’, a national campaign to support individuals working in the touring industries, adopted as best-practice by organisations across the country.

Rowan Rutter, newly appointed CEO of City of London Sinfonia, said: “I am delighted to be joining City of London Sinfonia as Chief Executive Officer. The organisation has, for over fifty years, championed and produced some of the most exciting talent in classical music in this country. And the ground-breaking, joyous and award-winning work in participation is at the heart of it all. I’m looking forward to working alongside the exceptional orchestral players, staff team and Board, and to building together a bright future for CLS”.

John Singer, Chairman of the Board of City of London Sinfonia, said: “We are thrilled to have Rowan join us as Chief Executive Officer at this time of our own post-Covid ambitious relaunch of our exciting and differentiated journey. Not only has she demonstrated her impressive and transformational leadership skills and business acumen in several performing arts organisations – even in such challenging times experienced at HighTide – but she also shares our values and culture which drive all we do on and off the stage. Her love for audiences and artists, on a fully inclusive and accessible basis, and her striving to make them feel totally part of what we are creating together, is a vital part of our culture.  As is her sharing of our commitment to championing diversity and representation, where she has an outstanding track record. Overall, she is an excellent match for CLS where we have consistently done things differently on all fronts – especially in our three-decade long commitment to innovative and engaging participation programmes. Finally, her love and enthusiasm for classical music, and the huge joy it can bring to everyone’s lives mirror the vision we all feel and are striving for – our Board, our staff, and our musicians.”


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