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Royal Albert Hall chief Craig Hassall to step down next year

Craig Hassall (Andy Paradise/David Levene/PA)
Craig Hassall (Andy Paradise/David Levene/PA)

Royal Albert Hall chief executive Craig Hassall will step down at the beginning of the 2023 season, it has been announced.

After six years in the role, he will take up the position of president and chief executive of Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hassall, 57, said: “After six wonderful years at the Hall it is time for me to bid a very fond farewell.

“I have genuinely loved working with the team, and despite all the recent challenges we have faced, it has been a huge privilege to lead the Royal Albert Hall through some great times (and some daunting ones!).”

Mr Hassall joined the London venue in 2017 and led the programme last year for its 150th anniversary.

He also helped the Hall navigate its survival and recovery plan through the Covid-19 pandemic and oversaw the refurbishment of the Grade I-listed venue.

Ian McCulloch, president of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We have benefitted from Craig’s many talents for nearly six years.

“During this tenure, Craig has accomplished a great deal for the good of the Hall and the wider cultural sector.

“He has played a pivotal role in sustaining us through the Covid-19 pandemic, in enhancing our reputation and in enabling the Hall to reach even wider audiences.

“He will be leaving us with our deep gratitude and goodwill.”

The Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

Mr Hassall will move to Cleveland in early 2023 after completing the London Christmas season and the lead-up to the annual Cirque du Soleil season.

Before joining the London venue, he was chief executive at Opera Australia and managing director of the English National Ballet.

He was also chief operating officer at live music venue Raymond Gubbay Ltd and held senior artistic roles for projects including the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games in Sydney and London.

The Royal Albert Hall said it will announce plans for Mr Hassall’s replacement in due course.