It’s a privilege to lead festival into the future

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival has picked as its new boss the director of one of Ireland's fastest-growing arts festivals.

William Galinsky, artistic director and chief executive of Cork Midsummer Festival, will succeed out-going festival director Jonathan Holloway, who is taking over the Perth International Arts Festival in Australia, in early 2011.

Leeds-born Mr Galinsky is credited with transforming Cork Midsummer Festival into one of Ireland's most ambitious and respected arts festivals. He has a background in theatre and a reputation for international collaboration, and for supporting local artists and performers.

He said: 'The growth and ambition charted by Norfolk and Norwich Festival in recent years has made it one of the truly 'standout' festivals in the UK.

'And I can confess to feeling just a little envious when I saw what the team was able to pack into the NNF10 programme.

'The history and geography of this stunning part of the world presents extraordinary possibilities for a festival that I fully intend to make the most of in the coming years. It will be a privilege for me to lead Norfolk and Norwich Festival into the future.'

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival has seen audiences increase 1,500pc since 2004 under the directorship of Mr Holloway with more than 300,000 people attending events in May this year.

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Its world-class programme has included the likes of Philip Glass, Ute Lemper, Michael Nyman and Laurie Anderson in recent years. Mr Galinsky's appointment follows an international selection process and Caroline Jarrold, chairman of the board of directors at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, said: 'We selected William from a pool of outstanding talent and are confident that his ambition, energy and international contacts will cement the festival's global reputation and enduring local appeal.'

Helen Lax, regional director at Arts Council England (East), added: 'William Galinsky's reputation for international collaboration will cement NNF's reputation on the international festival stage, highlighting the vibrancy and ambition of the cultural landscape in the East of England. We're confident he will continue to propel the festival on its upward trajectory.'

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is the international arts festival for the East of England bringing a programme of world-class music, theatre, circus, dance, visual arts, children's events and free outdoor events to Norwich and Norfolk for 16 days each May. The NNF11 runs from May 6 to 21, 2011. The full programme will be announced in early March 2011.

To book tickets for highlight shows or request a festival brochure, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk/nnf11.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@ archant.co.uk.