Nicholas Kenyon

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Sir Nicholas Roger Kenyon CBE (born 23 February 1951 in Cheshire) is an English music administrator, editor and writer on music. He was responsible for the BBC Proms in 1996–2007, after which he was appointed Managing Director of the Barbican Centre.

Education and career[edit]

Having attended St Bede's College, Manchester and played bassoon with Stockport Youth Orchestra,[citation needed] Kenyon studied history at Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating, he worked for the English Bach Festival, and as a freelance writer on music. From 1979 to 1982 he was a music critic for The New Yorker. He then returned to the UK as the music critic for The Times, then chief music critic of The Observer. He was also music editor of The Listener and editor of the journal Early Music. In 1992 he was appointed Controller, BBC Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms from the 1996 season, his title changing in 2000 to Controller BBC Proms, Live Events and Television Classical Music. In February 2007 he was announced as the new Managing Director of the Barbican Centre in the City of London, in succession to Sir John Tusa.

Kenyon is a member of the Board of English National Opera, a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a member of English Heritage's Blue Plaques Panel, a Trustee of the Dartington Hall Trust, a member of the Dartington International Summer School Foundation and a patron of Spode Music Week. He is also a Fellow of The Radio Academy.[1]


In the 2001 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music and millennium broadcasting.[2] He was created a Knight Bachelor in the 2008 New Year Honours.[3] In 2011, he was awarded the President's Medal by the British Academy.[4]


Amongst his publications are The BBC Symphony Orchestra: the first 50 years (1982), the biography Simon Rattle: from Birmingham to Berlin (2001), and the "Faber Pocket Guide to Mozart" (2005). He edited the influential Authenticity and Early Music (1987), and the BBC Proms Guides to Great Symphonies, Great Concertos, Great Choral Works and Great Orchestral works.


  1. ^ The Radio Academy "Fellows" Archived 2014-10-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "No. 56070". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2000. pp. 7–8.
  3. ^ "No. 58557". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2007-12-29. p. 1.
  4. ^ "The British Academy President's Medal". British Academy. Retrieved 23 July 2017.

External links[edit]