Christopher Rodrigues CBE is appointed Chairman of The Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School has appointed esteemed businessman Christopher Rodrigues CBE to be its new Chairman from January 2020.
The current Chairman, The Duchess of Wellington OBE will step down in the New Year after ten years in post.
Christopher Rodrigues has enjoyed a long and successful international career in business and has also acted as Chair of a number of major UK institutions including the British Council, the Almeida Theatre and Visit Britain.
In 2007 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to British business interests and charitable works in the UK and USA.
He has a passion for the arts and, in particular, ballet, being the son of two former Royal Ballet dancers, the late Julia Farron and Alfred Rodrigues.
Christopher’s childhood, therefore, gave him a profound understanding of the unique pressures of a career in ballet and a great admiration for ballet dancers and choreographers.
His extensive business experience will help him to guide the School and its Board of Governors to secure continued funding from companies, the government and private donors.
The Duchess of Wellington OBE, outgoing Chairman of The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘We are delighted to welcome Christopher Rodrigues to The Royal Ballet School. With his distinguished international business career, his long record of public service, and his lifelong passion for the ballet, he is in every way wonderfully qualified to take on the leadership of the Board. This is a very exciting development for the future of the School.
‘It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of such an outstanding institution over the last ten years. I would like to express my profound gratitude for all the extraordinary help I have received over these years from so many people at the School, including our students, the staff, the management team, the Board, at The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and all our many generous donors, supporters and friends.’
Christopher Powney, Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘I am delighted to welcome Christopher to the School. His considerable experience in business and the arts will be an invaluable asset to the Board, steering the School as we move forward and ensuring we continue to give our students the best possible experience and education.
‘I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to The Duchess of Wellington for her immeasurable contribution to the School. During her time as Chairman she has guided us, with the utmost integrity, through some extremely difficult and financially challenging times. Under her chairmanship the School has flourished. She has successfully developed important relationships, both within the industry and with our valued supporters. She should feel proud of the legacy she leaves; our students now receive an unparalleled education and exceptional care. I also extend my personal thanks for the selfless support she has afforded me, as the School’s Artistic Director.’
Christopher Rodrigues CBE said:
‘I am thrilled to be appointed Chairman. I first visited the School in Barons Court some fifty years ago. Visiting Floral Street for my interviews felt like coming home.
‘The School has already achieved an exceptional reputation in the international dance world and is a great national asset.
‘My ambition is simple - to help make great even better. I look forward to working with the Board, staff, and students as well as our partners at The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet to achieve this.’