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A Fond Farewell

to St George’s Chief Executive, Suzanne Rolt

St George’s Bristol’s inspirational Chief Executive, Suzanne Rolt, will be leaving us to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of Quartet Community Foundation in April. We would like to thank Suzanne for her exceptional achievements over the past 15 years, as Chief Executive, and for her commitment to the organisation for 28 years.

Suzanne Rolt, outgoing Chief Executive, says:

“I’ve been privileged to have my dream job, running one of the country’s finest halls, meeting the world’s greatest musicians, and having the best seat in the house for thousands of brilliant and unforgettable concerts. Now I have an opportunity to direct my passion and experience towards leading Quartet, an organisation dedicated to improving people’s lives and bringing about positive change.

Over the years St George’s has given me so much and I can say with absolute conviction that there is nowhere else I would rather have worked. I have grown in step with St George’s itself, and while there have been trials and challenges along the way, these have been outweighed by some of the best moments of my life. I have made lifelong friends, worked alongside some of the most committed and talented people I know, and found a place in the world that has fitted me better than any other. I once wrote of St George’s that it is “a space of enchanted sounds where many thousands of artists and concertgoers have experienced their most intense and memorable musical encounters; an intimate performance space that draws moments of revelatory music making from the greatest musicians of our age and where temporarily, and sometimes permanently, lives have been changed.” No life has been changed more than my own, and for this I will be ever grateful.”

Under Suzanne’s tenure the venue has welcomed a growing number of visitors encouraged by a broader programme of contemporary, folk, jazz, world music and spoken word events, and a succession of successful classical music series and festivals. Quick to spot the potential in new artistic alliances, Suzanne has forged associations with ground-breaking ensembles such as Aurora Orchestra and Chineke! Orchestra.

In recognition of her achievements, Suzanne was awarded the ABO/Classical Music Awards UK Concert Hall Manager of the Year in 2019, and in 2020 was invited to write a weekly newspaper diary for The Telegraph, charting the challenges of running a cultural organisation during the Covid Pandemic. She is a Director of the British Association of Concert Halls, Chair of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership/Festival of Ideas and a Trustee of Orchestras Live.

The St George’s team is looking forward to an exciting new chapter and will work closely with the Trustees and stakeholders to find a brilliant and talented individual to lead St George’s into its future.

Ben Heald, Chair, St George’s Bristol, says:

“We’re sad to be saying goodbye to Suzanne, but immensely appreciative of what she’s achieved for St George’s. The strength of our reputation for creating unique and inspirational musical experiences for audiences and artists has everything to do with her tremendous programming, people and leadership skills. Above all though, her tenure saw us reinvent ourselves as an all-day venue through the successful fundraise and completion of our glorious new extension. We wish her all the very best at Quartet.”