New music boss quits after savage cut

New music boss quits after savage cut


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2022

Word broke today that Susanna Eastburn has resigned as Chief Executive of Sound and Music, the main advocacy body for composers and new music. She will leave next May after 10 years in the job.

Before that, she was director of music at Arts Council England, the person who shaped the board’s opinion of who gets how much.

Last month, the ACE penalised Sound and Music with a 30 percent reduction in funding.

It is never easy to persuade public bodies to pay for music that no-one has ever heard, but this was a low blow.

Susanna (pictured right), a terrific enthusiast and organiser, will not want for job offers.

photo: Facebook


  • Pete Krems says:

    She’ll be fine as she’s never needed any extra income besides what she has from family. An odious apparatchik.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Really?!? . . you felt the need to add that personal insult? My understanding of “apparatchik” is a member of the communist party. Even if that were true, what would have to do with her abilities to perform her job? . . . many of you here are simply beyond belief.

  • anon says:

    Let us hope that Eastburn’s successor will get rid of all the identity politics and quotas. During Eastburn’s tenure, Sound and Music turned from an organisation facilitating composers and the promotion of new music to a regulator trying to dictate (with substantial success, unfortunately) how the new-music scene is run. Eastburn’s obsession with gender-based quotas, to the point of forcing many composition competitions and schemes to ABOLISH anonymous selection (an eminently fair method for identifying the best composers ON MERIT), was a retrograde step for men and women alike (apart from a small number of very well connected composers who can play the ‘identity politics’ card AND who studied with the ‘right’ teacher at the ‘right’ conservatoire at the ‘right’ time), and I very much hope that Sound and Music’s absurd ‘Fair Access Principles’ get less prescriptive and focus on MERIT (regardless of gender, past experience, or professional connections), not ‘representation’. If they do, maybe I will start composing again and submitting my works for ANONYMOUS schemes/calls, as I used to do when these existed.