Just in: Guildhall School names Australian chief

Just in: Guildhall School names Australian chief


norman lebrecht

July 13, 2016

Lynne Williams, director of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art since 2008, has been named successor to Barry Ife as principal of London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Ms Williams had announced her intention to leave NIDA at the end of this year.



from the press release:

About Lynne Williams
In a career spanning over 40 years, Lynne Williams has developed a significant breadth of arts practice, pedagogy and cultural entrepreneurship across not-for profit, government and commercial sectors. Williams has been the Director/CEO of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) since 2008 where she has led transformative change including a reinvigorated teaching and learning environment, self-accrediting authority for the institution and international creative industry and education partnerships. The construction of the NIDA Graduate School, recently opened by the Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the launch of a new suite of Master of Fine Arts courses, is the realisation of her vision for an international centre to drive future-focussed performance practice, training and research. 
Prior to NIDA, Lynne held many arts and cultural leadership positions in the UK where she was resident for 21 years. She led the development of the Culture, Ceremonies and Education Programme for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), following her contribution to London 2012’s successful Olympic Bid as a Cultural Advisor/Creative Producer. Lynne was also Artistic Director of Cardiff 2008, the company bidding for Cardiff to be 2008 European Capital of Culture. She was responsible for developing a new cultural strategy and leading a team in a bid on behalf of Wales.
Her experience in performing arts began in Australia where she studied and performed as a professional singer specialising in contemporary music and music theatre. She has a deep commitment to arts education and increased public access and has developed and promoted work across the full spectrum of the arts. She served on the Arts Council England Touring Panel and advised on a number of national audience development initiatives. She was also an Arts Council England advisor for contemporary music, opera, theatre and dance. She has served as a chair, a board and committee member of a variety of arts companies in both the UK and Australia including Arts and Kids, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and Performing Lines (Australia). 


  • Barbara says:

    what a strange photo to use as publicity – standing by a garage door.

  • DESE says:

    My word, how will she ever be allowed in? Very tricky.

  • Antony says:

    Congratulations to Ms Williams on securing another prestigious and well-earned appointment. What an exciting and significant career she has had, in both Australia and the U.K, and I trust the Guildhall will benefit from her experience and expertise for a good few years!