New Armory Artistic Director Pierre Audi

Pierre Audi“Creating adventurous new work inside unusual spaces of exceptional architectural character has been a lifetime passion for me. From founding the Almeida Theatre in London, to initiating many ambitious projects for Dutch National Opera and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the privilege of leading the artistic program of Park Avenue Armory is both an organic development in my journey and a dream come true.” - Pierre Audi

As a visionary director and artistic director, Pierre Audi is a trailblazer who has worked with audacious artists in music, theater, and the visual arts that have defined and redefined genres in our own time.  He will join us in October 2015 to begin planning for the 2017 season, and will continue to lead the Dutch National Opera, a role he has held since 1988 while also serving as Artistic Director of the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. He previously was the founding Artistic Director of the pioneering Almeida Theatre in London.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Audi founded the Almeida Theatre after graduating from Oxford University, raising funds to restore the derelict building that had once served as a Salvation Army hall.  Under his leadership, the Almeida grew into a legendary home for experimental theater and music, introducing a vast number of then-living composers to the U.K., from John Cage to Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Part and mounting for the first time in the U.K., works by Robert Wilson, Deborah Warner, Simon McBurney, and Robert Lepage, among others.

Appointed as head of the Dutch National Opera in 1988, Audi was the youngest opera leader at the time and today is the longest serving in the world.  He has helped to transform the company into one of the most cutting-edge and successful in Europe, with a commitment to commissioning new work and building new audiences for the art form. Among the numerous critically-acclaimed performances are his staging of Wagner’s Ring cycle, in which the theater was completely remade to set the orchestra in the middle of the stage, and his now-classic cycle of Monteverdi operas. He has also established a large repertoire of contemporary musical theater works, including world premieres by Tan Dun, Kaija Saariaho, and Pascal Dusapin.

From 2004 to 2014, Audi served as Artistic Director of the Holland Festival, presenting works in music, dance, theater, and visual art by such artists as William Kentridge, Tacita Dean, and Ryoji Ikeda; directors Peter Sellars, Sam Mendes, and Ivo Van Hove; choreographers Mark Morris, William Forsythe, Lemi Ponafasio, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker; and contemporary composers John Adams, Nico Muhly, and Louis Andriessen. Audi has also worked as guest director at a number of opera and theater companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, and the Vienna State Opera.

He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Leslie Boosey Award for his contribution to British Musical Life, the Prize of Holland’s Theater Critics for his directing of Shakespeare’s plays and Monteverdi operas, and The Netherland’s state prize for the arts, and the Johannes Vermeer Award. Audi was knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2000, and was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2006 in France.

Pierre Audi Named Next Artistic Director of Park Avenue Armory
Read The New York Times announcement

Image: Erwin Olaf