Lucy Noble has been appointed as the Royal Albert Hall’s first artistic director.
The new role has been designed to help the London venue recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, by renewing its focus on own-produced and co-promoted shows.
Noble was artistic and commercial director of the Hall from 2013 to 2021, with responsibility for programming, engagement, production and technical and partnerships.
She said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed as the first artistic director for the Royal Albert Hall. In recent years, we have moved from being predominantly a hall for hire to presenting and promoting around 70 events each year out of around 400 events in the auditorium. I am particularly looking forward to now bringing the visitor experience side of the business within my remit and to support the teams to deliver world class experiences to our visitors whilst we continue to focus on the quality, diversity and commerciality of events in order to attract the widest possible audience to the Hall.”
To balance this new artistic focus, the Hall’s chief executive Craig Hassall has created the role of chief operating officer. This role will oversee all the financial and operational elements of the Hall, including building and facilities. The Hall’s current director of building and facilities, Sara Crema, will leave at the end of 2021 and the director of finance and administration, Anupam Ganguli, will leave in April 2022. The new chief operating officer will step in to lead the Hall through its financial recovery.
Craig Hassall said: “2021 is the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th anniversary and we could never have imagined being forced to close for this milestone. As we emerge from the pandemic, this is a critical time in the organisation's history and Lucy’s experience and creativity will shape the artistic vision of the organisation. As chair of the National Arenas Association, Lucy holds a leading role in the industry, and she will be a terrific artistic director for the Hall, balanced by the new chief operating officer whose role will be crucial for the Hall’s finances and the safeguarding of the Grade I listed building."