Norfolk and Norwich Festival director is to step down after this year’s arts extravaganza
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2017
He has brought an array of weird and wonderful acts to the city and county over the last seven years, but after this May's Norfolk and Norwich Festival artistic director William Galinsky will be taking his final bow.
Mr Galinsky, 44, described his time at the festival 'as the most brilliant adventure,' but said he thought the time was now right for him to pass on the festival baton.
'After seven festivals, 60 world premieres, 124 new commissions, 40 festival co-productions and 2,143 individual performances I have decided it's time to catch my breath and 2017 will be my Norfolk & Norwich Festival swan song,' he said.
'Being artistic director of NNF has been the most brilliant adventure - at times, it has made me feel like Willy Wonka. From Robert Wilson's Walking along the beaches and dunes at Holkham, to Wildwork's Wolf's Child in the forests of Felbrigg Hall, to a cardboard St Peter Mancroft built by thousands of volunteers, the festival has given me the opportunity to bring the audiences and communities of Norwich and Norfolk experiences beyond an artistic director's wildest dreams.'
He said the seven festivals he has worked on have 'gone in a flash' and paid tribute to all of its supporters.
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'None of it would have been possible without the amazing festival team, our army of wonderful volunteers, the wisdom and support of the NNF board, the faith of Arts Council England and Norwich City Council, and all of our friends, supporters and sponsors and, perhaps most importantly of all, the enthusiasm of our audiences.'
After he leaves the festival Mr Galinsky plans to take a break before moving on to new adventures. Mr Galinsky and his wife, novelist Eimear McBride, along with their four-year-old daughter Éadaoin, will be moving from Norwich to London, where they will be closer to family and Ms McBride's work commitments.
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'We are going to really miss Norwich. It has been very, very good to us. It has given me amazing opportunities, it has launched Eimear's career, and we acquired our own little Norfolk dumpling along the way! It has been the most incredible time for us,' he said.
But for now it is still business as usual at the festival for Mr Galinsky who is currently planning the 2018 festival.
'I am off to Rotterdam today talking about a project for 2018. It does not stop. A lot of 2018 is already in place,' he said.
Norfolk & Norwich Festival's board will be announcing plans for Mr Galinsky's replacement in due course.
Brenda Arthur, chairman of the festival, thanked Mr Galinsky for all he has achieved with the festival.
She said: 'As a result of William's work Norfolk & Norwich Festival is now regarded as one of the top four arts festivals in the country.'