Aussie arts manager in line for top China post

Aussie arts manager in line for top China post


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2011

It is being authoritatively reported in Hong Kong that the search for a leader of the turbulent West Kowloon cultural district has narrowed down to one. 

The authorities are talking to Michael Lynch, former head of the Sydney Opera House, which he revitalised, and of London’s South Bank Centre, where he brought a reconstruction project to a successful conclusion many millions of pounds over budget. Since his London contract expired in 2008, Lynch has been back in Sydney, in the market for one last big job.

Hong Kong is a biggie, albeit corpse strewn. The last chief executive, Graham Sheffield, formerly of London’s Barbican Centre, quit at the New Year in the throes of a personal health crisis. He has since been appointed arts boss of the British Council, happily restored to health. 
Lynch has been sunning it long enough in Sydney to be in peak condition for the China post. It’s a tough job, with some very demanding bosses. If he pulls it off, it will be a mighty apotheosis of arts management.