Sam McShane © Campbell David Parker
Kings Place today [8 February] announced Sam McShane as its new Artistic Director. Sam will take up the role on 20 May 2024.
As Artistic Director, Sam will work in partnership with Zoë Jeyes, following her recent promotion to Executive Director of Kings Place. Zoë has been with the venue since its opening in 2008, and will lead on strategic direction, business planning and the operational effectiveness of the business. Sam will lead a vibrant programming team which includes Head of Artistic Planning Rosie Chapman who has been at the venue since 2015, newly appointed Contemporary Programme Manager Rob Farhat and Programme Manager Rebecca Millican.
Sam is currently Creative Director at Manchester Camerata where she has led on the orchestra’s UK and international programming, established a ground-breaking new talent development initiative and secured three new Artistic Partners. Prior to this Sam was Head of Creative Programming at Manchester Camerata and Head of Artistic Planning at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is currently on the board of Chamber Music Scotland.
Sam brings a breadth of experience across the classical, contemporary, folk and jazz sectors, having worked with artists ranging from Jess Gillam, Daniel Pioro, Moishe’s Bagel, Fergus McCreadie, Rushil Ranjan, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Phillip Venables, Afrodeutsche and Speaker’s Corner Quartet.
Sam McShane said: “For many years I have admired Kings Place as a cultural hub that displays adventurous programming across many artforms – a beacon of hope for artists to be curious and for audiences to connect. I believe its entrepreneurial beginnings display a model for the future in the arts and I’m incredibly excited about joining the Kings Place family and its community and audiences for the next part of the artistic journey.”
Peter Millican OBE, Executive Chair of Kings Place, said: “The Trustees and I are all delighted that Sam has been appointed to lead the Kings Place programme into its next phase. Sam’s passion for how music and performance can positively impact people’s lives is inspirational. Her rich experience and innovative, risk-taking approach to programming perfectly aligns with the Kings Place ethos. We are all excited to see where her creative direction will lead us.”
Zoë Jeyes, Executive Director of Kings Place, said: “As we move into the next chapter of the Kings Place story, I can’t imagine a better partner to work alongside than Sam. We share the same drive to bring more people through our doors, to work with more artists, more young people and more of our community. Collaboration is integral to the Kings Place culture and our dedicated team are at the heart of that. Sam’s appointment has energised all of us who work here and we can’t wait to welcome her to the family.”
Since opening in 2008, Kings Place has established itself as a centre for performing arts innovation, developing emerging artists, new concert series and formats, festivals, cross-arts collaborations and international artistic relationships, while also providing a home for music education and training organisations and a hub for arts charities. The venue programmes a diverse range of events including classical, contemporary, jazz and folk music as well as spoken word events and live podcasts. As the first cultural building to go up in the King’s Cross quarter, Kings Place’s aim has always been to be a catalyst for change.
Kings Place’s award-winning programming has continued to go from strength to strength. Its annual Unwrapped series, now in its 16th edition, won an RPS Award in 2020 for ‘Best Concert Series and Events’. Over 500 world and UK premieres have been performed at the venue since its opening, and Kings Place have commissioned and co-commissioned 19 works by composers including Nico Muhly, Oliver Leith, Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.