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Abigail Pogson appointed Sage Gateshead’s Managing Director

Saturday, January 17, 2015   (0 Comments)
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ISPA member organization Sage Gateshead appointed Abigail Pogson as its new Managing Director. Abigail Pogson, who will take up the post in May 2015 after a phased handover with Anthony Sargent CBE (ISPA Board Chair and General Director of Sage Gateshead), grew up in Yorkshire and is currently Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, which runs the renowned Summer and Winter Festivals and a year-round Learning and Participation Programme in London.

"It is an honour to be asked to join Sage Gateshead as Managing Director as it enters its second decade. The mix of an iconic building, a brilliant chamber orchestra, a world leading traditional music programme and an education programme which international colleagues constantly look to for inspiration is absolutely unique. It is also an honour to pick up from such a brillant leadership team which Sage Gateshead has had for its first decade and to join such a dedicated staff and board. I am hugely looking forward to joining the organisation," says Abigail Pogson.

Below is the full media release.



In the week that Sage Gateshead celebrates its 10th Birthday, Lord Falconer, Chairman of Sage Gateshead, has announced today that Abigail Pogson will be the new Managing Director of the North East’s premier music venue.

Lord Falconer made the announcement at the music venue’s AGM on15th December, saying:

‘I am delighted that Abigail Pogson will be joining us. I believe we have found someone who blends great musical and artistic integrity with an understanding of the founding principles of Sage Gateshead. As we celebrate the end of our first decade, and pay huge tribute to all the work that Anthony Sargent has done in leading the organisation, we equally look forward to the renewed vision that Abigail will bring for the second decade’.

Abigail Pogson, who will take up the post in May 2015 after a phased handover with Anthony Sargent, grew up in Yorkshire and is currently Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, which runs the renowned Summer and Winter Festivals and a year-round Learning and Participation Programme in London.

Abigail Pogson said:

‘It is an honour to be asked to join Sage Gateshead as Managing Director as it enters its second decade. The mix of an iconic building, a brilliant chamber orchestra, a world leading traditional music programme and an education programme which international colleagues constantly look to for inspiration is absolutely unique. It is also an honour to pick up from such a brillant leadership team which Sage Gateshead has had for its first decade and to join such a dedicated staff and board. I am hugely looking forward to joining the organisation.

Sage Gateshead's founding mission and what it has achieved in its first ten years are utterly inspiring, providing a phenomenal legacy on which to build. I look forward to ensuring that as many people as possible can be part of Sage Gateshead and that we can make an important contribution to both quality of life in the North East and its reputation more widely in the UK and the world’.

Anthony Sargent CBE, who, as General Director, has run the venue for fifteen years and saw the iconic building constructed, opened and operated for its first decade, announced in April 2014 that he would be standing down.

Anthony Sargent said:

“I’m absolutely delighted my Board have chosen Abigail Pogson as my successor, taking Sage Gateshead into its second decade building on the foundations of the first. Knowing and greatly admiring Abgail’s work – her high cultural values, her piercing intelligence and her motivational leadership style – I am very confident that under Abigail Sage Gateshead’s second decade will be full of exciting new programming developments and discoveries. I know my own team here and the wider community of the region will take Abigail to their hearts, and will give her all the warm support which I have so valued over the past 15 years.”

Councillor Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council, who also sits on Sage Gateshead’s Board, said:

‘We’re very proud of Sage Gateshead’s success over the last 10 years and its impact on our local communities. Having a world-class music venue, with a longstanding education programme, has brought both cultural and economic benefits to Gateshead and the wider region. Abigail’s appointment as Managing Director, with her wealth of skills and experience, should provide an exciting opportunity to build on Sage Gateshead’s impressive reputation locally, nationally and internationally. We look forward to welcoming her to Gateshead’

The news of Abigail Pogson’s appointment comes ahead of what is set to be an impressive year for Sage Gateshead. Already planned for early 2015 are concerts from Australian gothic god Nick Cave, electronic pioneers Underworld, LA indie rockers Warpaint and many other wide-ranging and diverse acts. The Gateshead International Jazz Festival will return for its eleventh year, and the region’s very own chamber orchestra - Royal Northern Sinfonia - will continue to wow audiences with its new Music Director, Lars Vogt. 

nd as part of Sage Gateshead’s 10th Birthday Appeal, Sting will bring his Broadway musical ‘The Last Ship’ home to Tyneside in April. These sold out shows will see the Wallsend born superstar take to the stage for the only such performances in the UK, with all proceeds supporting the 10th Birthday Appeal and helping to secure the future of Sage Gateshead’s important work across the region.


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