Emma Stenning


Emma is Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since April 2023.

Prior to joining the CBSO she was Executive Director of Soulpepper, Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre.

From 2009 to 2018, Emma was Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic, leading the organisation in partnership with Artistic Director Tom Morris. Together they delivered the long-awaited £26m refurbishment of the historic theatre. Their programme revitalised the organisation’s creative life and public profile; locally, nationally and internationally.

Previously she was Head of Producing for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, where she delivered several world premieres including Rufus Wainwright’s opera “Prima Donna” and the London transfer of Damon Albarn’s “Monkey”.

Past roles include Head of Theatre at Arts Council England, London, and Cultural Programme Advisor at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, where she was responsible for the initial feasibility planning for the stadium ceremonies.

From 2002 to 2005 she was Executive Director of Battersea Arts Centre, also in partnership with Tom Morris as Artistic Director. She has worked with Complicite, Oxford Stage Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company, producing theatre on the London fringe, in the West End, on national and international tour.

Emma was formerly the Deputy Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe, and currently serves on the Globe Council. She is Chair of Shoreditch Town Hall, a trustee of Cheek by Jowl and Wild Arts, and a Director of the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust.

In 2017 she was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Bristol University.