Black and white portrait image of patrick harrison

The Royal Ballet School appoints new CEO

The Royal Ballet School has appointed Patrick Harrison as its first full-time Chief Executive Officer. 

Joining the School from English National Ballet, Patrick will oversee the organisation’s continued evolution as it approaches its historic centenary in 2026. He will join The Royal Ballet School later this year.

The decision to appoint a full-time CEO was made in January this year, following the news that Artistic Director & CEO Christopher Powney was stepping down at the end of the academic year after a decade in post.

Patrick Harrison has been Executive Director at English National Ballet since 2016, where he has led an organisation at the forefront of dance, growing its global reputation and connection with audiences. He oversaw the Company’s move to a new purpose-built home and its response to the pandemic. Patrick previously performed the same role at Cambridge Arts Theatre and before this, was Director of Commercial Operations at the National Theatre, where he oversaw the development of commercial and audience experience provision as part of the £80m NTFuture project, growing the National Theatre’s trading company to an annual turnover of £13m.

Patrick is a Trustee of Battersea Arts Centre and chairs its Enterprises Board. He has also volunteered with other smaller arts organisations, providing advice and support on commercial opportunities, operations, and capital projects.

Patrick said of his appointment: 

I’m thrilled to join The Royal Ballet School at such an exciting time in its evolution. I look forward to working with the Board of Governors and the School’s highly dedicated and skilled senior management team and staff to deliver the School’s vision for the future, and further unlock its potential as an internationally renowned cultural institution and a world leader in the training and education of extraordinary young people.

The School’s Interim Chairman, Anna Birkett, said:

We’re delighted to welcome Patrick to the School. His experience, expertise, and passion for the arts make him an exemplary candidate for leading the School’s journey to its centenary and placing it on a sustainable footing, both artistically and financially, into its next century.

The search for The Royal Ballet School’s new Artistic Director is now in its advanced stages, and the School hopes to announce the chosen candidate shortly.