Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Britten-Pears Foundation appoints Sir Vernon Ellis as chair

5:10, 16th March 2017

The Britten–Pears Foundation has appointed Sir Vernon Ellis as its new chair. He will succeed Nick Prettejohn, who is to step down in early June after eight years in post.

A major supporter of the arts, Ellis has hosted over 80 concerts a year for the last 12 years in support of musicians and musical organisations at his London home through his Foundation.

He has been chair or trustee of many arts organisations, including English National Opera, Classical Opera, National Opera Studio, the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Royal Philharmonic Society and London Music Masters. He was also chair of the British Council from 2010 to 2016, and was knighted for his services to music in the 2011 New Year’s Honours.

Ellis is a fellow of the Royal College of Music, and holds an honorary fellowship from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and honorary doctorates from Goldsmiths, University of London, Queen’s University Belfast and Warwick University.

‘I am a great fan of Britten’s music and I have visited his home, the Red House, many times,’ he said. ‘In addition to Britten’s music, he and his partner Peter Pears left a unique and important legacy to the county and beyond and I look forward to working with the board of the foundation to continuing their work to celebrate one of the UK’s most important composers.’

General director Sarah Bardwell said: ‘This new chapter in our history will help bring more awareness of the support we give and the work we do to shed light on Benjamin Britten’s life and music at his home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.’

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