ISPA Board Chair Anthony Sargent, CBE, Bestowed Gateshead’s Greatest Civic Honor
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
It is with tremendous pleasure that we congratulate ISPA’s Board Chair and General Director of Sage Gateshead Anthony Sargent, CBE, on his becoming Honorary Freeman of Gateshead, a prestigious civic honor bestowed by Gateshead Council, in recognition of his work at the Sage Gateshead and in the community.
The below press release was distributed on September 23, 2014 by the Gateshead Council.
“… Working here in Gateshead for the past fifteen years has only reinforced my admiration for all the miracles the borough has accomplished. Already I am proud wherever I go to tell the story of Gateshead's regenerative ambitions and achievements - to do that as a Freeman of the Borough will be a very special honour indeed," said Anthony in the press release.
ISPA is delighted to have an Honorary Freeman at the helm of our global network. Please help us in congratulating Anthony on this well-deserved recognition!
Gateshead Council Press Release
23 September 2014
Major figures in region’s music to be honoured
Lord David Puttnam, Anthony Sargent and Royal Northern Sinfonia are to become Honorary Freemen of Gateshead.
At a Council meeting on Thursday 18 September, Gateshead councillors agreed to award the prestigious civic honour to two men who have made a significant contribution to the success of Sage Gateshead and also to the orchestra that has made the venue its home.
They will now join a distinguished list of people who have all left a legacy to Gateshead that will be remembered for generations to come and Royal Northern Sinfonia is only the second organisation to receive the honour.
The recipients will be presented with their honorary titles at a special ceremony due to take place later in the year.
Leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry, said “In the year that we celebrate Sage Gateshead’s tenth birthday, it’s extremely fitting that we are able to honour those who have helped to make it the success it is today.
Anthony has worked tirelessly to create a world-class venue with an international reputation, of which we are all incredibly proud. Lord Puttnam has not only supported Sage Gateshead over a number of years but he has also been an influential figure in the field of education, while Royal Northern Sinfonia, the only full time professional chamber orchestra in the UK, has played a central role in our region’s cultural life for over 50 years.
They will be great ambassadors for the Borough of Gateshead and these honours allow us to demonstrate our appreciation, on behalf of the people of Gateshead, for all their endeavours.
Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE has been nominated in recognition of his distinguished services to education and culture and specifically for his role as Chair of North Music Trust.
He said “This is an immense honour. The depth of affection I feel for the people of the North East has been well 'time tested', having outlasted the completion of terms of office at the University of Sunderland, Durham Cathedral and most recently, Sage Gateshead. The sense of pride I feel following this announcement by Gateshead Council is just the latest manifestation of what's been a twenty year love affair."
Anthony Sargent, CBE, has been nominated for his services to music and arts and specifically for his role as the first General Director of Sage Gateshead.
"I am honoured beyond words by this decision of the Council” he said.
“For more than a decade before I moved here in 2000 I marvelled at Gateshead's visionary, deep-rooted belief in the contribution arts investments can make to communities. Working here in Gateshead for the past fifteen years has only reinforced my admiration for all the miracles the borough has accomplished.
Already I am proud wherever I go to tell the story of Gateshead's regenerative ambitions and achievements - to do that as a Freeman of the Borough will be a very special honour indeed."
Royal Northern Sinfonia, resident at Sage Gateshead since the building opened in 2004, has been nominated in recognition of its exceptional services to music, which have been recognised regionally, nationally and internationally. Last year, the Queen bestowed the title ‘Royal’ on Northern Sinfonia, recognising it internationally as one of the UK’s finest orchestras, the first time a UK orchestra had been honoured in this way for over 20 years.
Bradley Creswick, Leader and First Violin of Royal Northern Sinfonia, said “It means so much to us to know that the orchestra and its music making is to be celebrated in this way. We are absolutely delighted that we are to receive such an honour. Whatever we are able to give back as Freemen of the Borough ...it could never be enough to match the generosity and vision of Gateshead.”
The conferment of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough is the most significant honour that Gateshead Council can confer upon any individual or organisation – although the honour does not carry with it any rights, benefits or privileges.
Current Honorary Freemen of the Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council include Antony Gormley, Brendan Foster CBE and Jill Halfpenny.