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Alex Poots

Director, Manchester International Festival

Alex is the founding CEO and Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival (MIF).

He was appointed Artistic Director in 2005, conceiving and establishing it as the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events from across the spectrum of the performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.

Highlights of the first four events include: Monkey: Journey to the West by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett; group art event Il Tempo del Postino, including work from artists Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Trisha Donnelly and Tino Sehgal; It Felt Like a Kiss by Punchdrunk and Adam Curtis; Zaha Hadid Architects' new space for the music of Bach; Bjork’s Biophilia live show; and Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, featuring Willem Dafoe, Antony and Marina Abramović and Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth.

Alongside his work for MIF, Alex was appointed Artistic Director of New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2011, commissioning and presenting ambitious new work specially conceived for this unique New York landmark. Highlights from Alex’s first two seasons (2013 and 2014) include Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Oktophonie in a new setting by Rirkrit Tiravanija, the world première of Paul McCarthy’s White Snow, the launch of a new recital room featuring artists such as Christian Gerhaher and a new staged concert by The xx.

In addition, Alex is an Artistic Advisor to the BBC, supporting new artist-led commissions and work across the corporation.

Previously Alex commissioned, curated and presented new work and special events for the Barbican, Tate, Somerset House, Channel 4 and ENO, working with artists including PJ Harvey, Anish Kapoor, Ennio Morricone, Peter Sellars, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve McQueen and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He was an Artistic Advisor to the London 2012 Olympics.

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Alex Poots

Director, Manchester International Festival

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