Music Industry Exec New Chair of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery

Rob Dickens has worked with Madonna and the Sex Pistols

Rob Dickens CBE. Picture: Linkedin


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Rob Dickins CBE has been appointed as the new Chair of The Board of Trustees of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery. He will be taking up the position at the beginning of next year.

He has a wealth of expertise in leadership roles across the music, arts and entertainment sectors, spanning four decades. He joined Warner Bros Music Publishing in 1971, becoming Managing Director three years later at the age of 24. Within five years he was appointed International Vice President and later Chairman of leading record company Warner Music UK. He has worked closely with, among many others, Enya, Madonna, Madness, Seal, REM, Cher, Sex Pistols, Rod Stewart and Vangelis.

He reinvented the Brit Awards to become a highlight of the British Record Industry's calendar. In 1999 Mr Dickens set up his own entertainment company, Instant Karma, as an independent label, and a music publishing company Dharma Music, which achieved multiple chart successes. He was the longest serving Chair of the music industry trade organisation, the BPI and in 2002, he was awarded a CBE for services to the music industry in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours list.

He has held senior Board positions in major arts organisations including as a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum (where he was also a Director of V&A Enterprises), National Portrait Gallery, Handel House, The Watts Gallery and Youth Music. He has been Chair of the Museum of Childhood, The Theatres Trust, (the national advisory body on theatres in the UK) and The British Architectural Trust at RIBA. He has been a Visiting Professor of the University of the Arts, London Metropolitan University, Berklee College and has lectured extensively on the arts.

Rob Dickins said, “Sir Sherard, the Board and the hard-working staff and volunteers at Pitzhanger have done a wonderful job in restoring the Manor to its true magnificence. The twinning of the house with a contemporary art gallery couples internationally known artists of today with one of the best examples of Georgian architecture which, going forward, is an exciting prospect, especially for Ealing and the diverse surrounding areas but also for the wider world.

“I believe my experience, especially in the worlds of entertainment, museums/galleries and arts education, will help bring Pitzhanger even more to life and provide an enjoyable and informative destination to young and old from all walks of life.”

Clare Gough, Director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, said, “We are delighted to welcome Rob Dickins. Having opened successfully in 2019 but then had to close due to COVID just twelve months later, we really look forward to working with Rob and benefitting from his extensive experience as we address the exciting but challenging period ahead.”

Rob Dickins succeeds Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles who has been Chair of Pitzhanger’s Board of Trustees since 1 November 2012.

During his tenure, Pitzhanger doubled visitor numbers and raised the funds to enable the conservation, and survive lockdown in a strong position. In addition a programme of world class exhibitions and events was launched, including the opening exhibition by Sir Anish Kapoor; 12,000 young people in were engaged in learning and outreach projects and more than 200 local volunteers were trained.

Clare Gough added, “We are immensely grateful to Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles for his nine years as Chair during which time he has made such an enormous contribution to Pitzhanger and helped secure it for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Sir Sherard said, “I warmly welcome Rob’s appointment as Pitzhanger’s second chair. He has the skills, experience, energy and talent to take our beloved Pitzhanger to a new level. I am so glad.”

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December 9, 2021

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