The experienced producer will lead Australia’s longest running international arts festival for the next four years.

The organisers of the Perth International Arts Festival may just be gearing up for their exciting 2015 season (highlights include Mark Morris Dance Company, Les Arts Florissants and the Sixteen led by Harry Christophers, and Anthony Minghella’s award-winning Madame Butterfly to name just a few), but they are already looking ahead to 2016’s festival with the announcement of a new Artistic Director, Wendy Martin.

Martin’s C.V. makes for impressive reading: formally the Head of Theatre and Dance at the Sydney Opera House, she is currently in charge of dance and performance at London’s famous Southbank Centre, widely regarded as one of the top performing arts venues in the world. Martin has also worked for ABC and SBS as an arts television producer so in addition to having already worked closely with some of the world’s top dancers, theatre makers, musicians and performing artists, she will doubtless have some very valuable insights into programming work that has a broad appeal. The Sydney Opera House’s Message Sticks and Spring Dance Festivals have both previously been steered by Martin, so Perth’s acclaimed festival is clearly in excellent hands.

Martin said she was “delighted to be taking on the artistic leadership of the Perth International Arts Festival with its rich history in the unique environment of Western Australia.” As the country’s longest running international celebration of culture and the arts (the first festival was staged in 1953), the Artistic Directorship of PIAF is one of the most coveted positions in the Australian arts sector. It is therefore an even stronger endorsement of the Festival board’s faith in Martin that she has been signed on to lead the festival for the next four years.

The current Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway, who has directed the festival since 2012 has been highly lauded during his tenure. The commissioning of Philip Glass’ final three Etudes, premiered by the composer, the Australian debut of legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and performances staged by immersive theatre wizards Punchdrunk are among the collection of artistic coups engineered by Holloway during his time at PIAF. 

For full details of 2015’s offering at the Perth International Arts Festival, visit their website.

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