Birmingham Royal Ballet appoints new Chair

Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is pleased to announce that Sir David Normington, GCB has been appointed as Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet, succeeding Professor Michael Clarke, CBE DL who stands down after completing nearly a ten-year term of office.

Sir David Normington has been a ballet lover for over 40 years. He is a governor of the Royal Ballet and Friend of Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is currently Chair of the Governing Council at Warwick University and Vice Chair of the trustees of the NSPCC.

He was for 37 years a civil servant, working in the fields of education, employment and criminal justice. He was the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education from 2001 to 2006 and at the Home Office from 2006 to 2011. From 2011 to 2016 he was First Civil Service Commissioner and Commissioner for Public Appointments with oversight of appointments to the Civil Service and to public bodies.

Sir David was born and brought up in Bradford in Yorkshire. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he read history. He was knighted in 2005 for his public service and made a GCB (a Grand Commander of the Order of the Bath) in 2011.

Michael Clarke commented: “It has been an incredible honour to act as Chair for Birmingham Royal Ballet for the last nine years, witnessing this talented company go from strength to strength. I wish Sir David Normington all the best and look forward to the next exciting chapter for the Company.”

During Michael Clarke’s tenure as Chair, Birmingham Royal Ballet has maintained its position as the country’s leading classical ballet touring company, committed to bringing classical, heritage and contemporary works to audiences across the UK and internationally. The Company has expanded its outreach work in communities and schools, more than doubling numbers of participants in the last eight years and organising 200 events in the 2016/17 season alone. BRB also achieved record levels of fundraised income in this period, including the Campaign for the Future which raised over £15 million in under five years and culminated in a gala performance at Buckingham Palace in June 2017 at the invitation of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Sir David Normington said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet. I have been a ballet lover for over 40 years and it is a great thrill and privilege for me to have the chance to lead the board of one of the country’s leading ballet companies.

I want to ensure it continues to delight audiences both in Birmingham and across the country with its high standards of artistry and creativity and to take classical ballet to places and people who have not yet experienced its joy and wonder.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sir David Normington as the new Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet. BRB is an exceptional artistic company, with an international reputation for the artistic quality of its work. Sir David’s appreciation and love of ballet combined with his outstanding record of public service make him an ideal fit for this role.

“As Sir David steps up to the helm, we’d like to pay tribute to the commitment and contribution of Michael Clarke as outgoing Chair and we look forward to the company continuing to delight audiences with their array of classical and ground-breaking ballets.”

Sir David Normington will join as Chair of the Board at the beginning of May. He will also lead the global search for BRB’s new Director after David Bintley steps down in July 2019.

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