Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, one of the leading dance companies in the United States, announces today the appointment of Barry C. Hughson as Executive Director beginning June 1, 2009.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mr. Hughson to the Boston community,” said Nissinen. “He has a strong and impressive background and brings a range of experience, including work on both the artistic and administrative sides. As a former dancer, Barry brings a holistic perspective to Boston. I look forward to partnering with Barry as we build upon our solid foundation and lead Boston Ballet into an exciting new era.”
Boston Ballet’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2013 sets the stage for the coming years. In partnership with Nissinen and the Board of Trustees, Hughson will play a leading role in shaping and executing a major capital campaign to fund the future. Hughson will also be responsible for all non-artistic functions of the organization, including marketing, sales, annual fundraising activities, finance, administration, planning, human resources and operations. Hughson will work closely with the Board and be an important institutional ambassador for the Company in the national and international community.
Hughson is currently Executive Director of the Atlanta Ballet. “My wife and I are thrilled to be returning to New England where we will be closer to our family, and joining the remarkable Boston Ballet family. The breadth and depth of the Company’s work - on stage, in the studio, and in the community - and its renown as one of the world’s premiere dance companies, positions Boston Ballet as a leading arts institution, and a world-class cultural asset in the city of Boston,” said Hughson. “I look forward to partnering with Mikko and the Board of Directors as we lead Boston Ballet into a new era of financial stability and artistic ascent.”
Over his two-year tenure at Atlanta Ballet, Hughson successfully engineered the move to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, completed the sale of the Ballet’s real estate resulting in the elimination of the Company’s debt, resolved a dispute with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and developed the $14.8 million “Choreographing Our Future” campaign. To date, Atlanta Ballet has secured $11.2 million – 76% of the campaign goal. It is already the most successful fundraising campaign in Atlanta Ballet’s 80-year history.
Hughson’s experience includes a distinguished career in arts administration which began at the historic Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT. At the Warner Theatre, Hughson led a successful $12.5 million campaign to restore the Warner Theatre’s art deco building. Hughson went on to become the first Executive Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City before working with the American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School in Princeton, NJ. In the position of Executive Director at Princeton Ballet School, Hughson significantly increased touring revenue and introduced major new fundraising and programming initiatives.
Additionally, Hughson has a background as an award-winning dancer who has performed the works of George Balanchine, Choo San Goh and Antony Tudor. He trained at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and the Connecticut Dance Theatre, and danced professionally with the Washington (DC) Ballet for 19 years. On a national level, Hughson has served as a co-chair of the Manager’s Council for DanceUSA, the advocacy organization for dance in America.
Nissinen has served in the capacity of Interim Executive Director since March 2008 in addition to his role as Artistic Director of Boston Ballet. Under his artistic direction, Boston Ballet’s global visibility has increased through national and international touring, its expanded range of exceptional classical, neo-classical, and contemporary repertoire and its high-caliber performances. Boston Ballet School, the largest ballet school in North America, has also flourished under Nissinen’s direction, opening a fourth branch in February 2009 and reaching more than 10,000 students every year.
“Barry Hughson brings all of the right ingredients to Boston Ballet at this time in our history,” said Susan Friedman, Search Committee Chair and Trustee Emerita. “In fall 2009, with the move to our new performance home, The Opera House, Boston Ballet embarks on a new era. The arts have never been more important, and the exceptional leadership team of Mikko Nissinen and Barry Hughson is exciting for Boston Ballet and the City of Boston.”
About Boston BalletFounded in 1963, Boston Ballet is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers.
Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is made up of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with Boston Ballet and as an independent group, presenting lecture-demonstrations and unique programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education is the largest ballet school in North America. In service of its mission to bring the highest quality arts education to all, it reaches and instructs more than 10,000 students of all ages each year through Boston Ballet School, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance education programs are held at four major ballet studio locations, in community centers, and throughout the Boston Public Schools.