Andrew Comden

Andrew Comben announced as new Britten Pears Arts Chief Exec


Andrew Comden takes up the role vacated by Roger Wright in September 2024

Britten Pears Arts has appointed Andrew Comben as its new Chief Executive, effective September 2024. Comben will lead Britten Pears Arts, which encompasses the Aldeburgh Festival, the Britten Festival, Summer at Snape, the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, and oversee retail operations at the Snape Maltings site.

Comben brings extensive experience to the role, having previously managed the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Snape before joining Wigmore Hall as Head of Artistic Planning in 2003. His leadership at the Brighton Festival, starting in 2008, led to significant growth and recognition for the organization.

This marks the first time Britten Pears Arts has appointed a Chief Executive with substantial prior experience at the East Suffolk arts venue. Comden’s familiarity with the unique challenges of the relatively isolated location will be invaluable as the organization has undergone considerable growth since his previous tenure.

During Comden’s absence, Britten Pears Arts has undergone significant transformations, including a name change from Aldeburgh Foundation to Aldeburgh Music and a relocation of operations to Snape Maltings. Under the leadership of CEO Jonathan Reekie, the organization expanded its footprint, streamlined its operations, and implemented daring programming.

Under outgoing Roger Wright’s stewardship, Britten Pears Arts further expanded its scope, consolidating retail outlets, diversifying into community initiatives, and incorporating accommodation, such as Britten’s former residence, the Red House, into the organisation. Wright successfully fostered a strong working partnership with his team and navigated the challenges of the pandemic with resilience and creativity.

Originally from Australia, Andrew Comden has been active in the UK arts scene since 1993, holding senior leadership positions at Wigmore Hall and Britten Pears Arts. At Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, he introduced the annual Guest Director model and expanded community engagement initiatives. His achievements include overseeing the redevelopment of performance spaces and educational programs in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.