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Peter Biggs Appointed as Acting Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

News: 12 December 2019

Laurie Kubiak, Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, has announced the appointment of Peter Biggs as Acting Chief Executive. He takes over the reins from the long-serving Chief Executive, Christopher Blake, who is retiring from the role at the end of the year.

Mr Biggs will fill the position on an interim basis, pending the outcome of a global search for a permanent Chief Executive that is currently underway.

Peter Biggs has been a member of the NZSO Board since August 2014 and will relinquish this role during his time as interim Chief Executive. A noted cultural philanthropist, he was Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative NZ), from 1999 to 2006. He served on the Board of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and was Chair of the Panel advising the Government on the NZ Orchestral Sector, completed in 2012. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2013 for services to the arts, governance and philanthropy. He has extensive business experience, having been Chief Executive of large multinational advertising agencies in New Zealand and Australia. He is a sought-after speaker on leadership and creativity.

“We’re delighted that Peter has agreed to take on this role while the Orchestra completes a review of its activities and prepares for the move to its new home in the National Centre for Music, based in the Wellington Town Hall”, said Laurie Kubiak.

“His experience across arts and business – and his knowledge of how to engage audiences - will be invaluable over this period of transition. It will ensure that the Orchestra is well-prepared for an incoming permanent Chief Executive who will be recruited in 2020,” he said.

Mr Kubiak acknowledged and thanked the outgoing Chief Executive, Christopher Blake. 

“Chris has made a substantial and enduring contribution. During his eight-year tenure, he has spearheaded the drive to create a permanent new home and facilities for the NZSO. It is testament to his endeavours that the refurbishment work on the Wellington Town Hall is underway.

“Chris has also successfully diversified the activities of the Orchestra with new innovations such as the Shed and Baroque series, residencies in regional New Zealand, programming of New Zealand music, and popular music concerts from the worlds of film and gaming”.

Commenting on his appointment, Peter Biggs said:

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve on the Board of the NZSO, and an even greater privilege to be asked to fill the role of interim Chief Executive of this world-class cultural icon. I look forward to working closely with Laurie and the Board, and the exceptional wider team who make up the NZSO, as we delight and inspire Kiwis and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand with orchestral music of the highest calibre".

Updated on 12th December 2019