ABRSM CEO announces retirement
Leslie East, Chief Executive of ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, is to retire in December. Leslie, a former Director of Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Publishing Director of Novello and Co, joined ABRSM in 1998 as Senior Music Editor, becoming Publishing Director in 1999, and has played an integral part in the strategic development of the organisation. Following six years as Executive Director: Syllabus and Publishing, he became Chief Executive in February 2013 to initiate the next phase of ABRSM's development. During his 15 years at ABRSM, Leslie was responsible for a number of significant projects including developing the contemporary-music 'Spectrum' series and Barry Cooper's edition of Beethoven's 35 Piano Sonatas, significantly increasing the provision of recordings for many of the instruments we examine, and the ongoing enhancement of our suite of exam publications and music support resources. 'It was always my intention to retire in July 2014 but, when taking over as Chief Executive last year, our Trustees asked me to stay on until the end of the year to further our strategic plans,' said East. 'On the anniversary of my appointment, I'd like to thank everybody at ABRSM - our staff, examiners, representatives, suppliers and partners - for their dedication and support throughout my time here. I've spent many happy years at ABRSM and have been fortunate enough to see the organisation grow from strength to strength.' 'My priority this year is to further our strategic plans, to prepare the organisation for its next phase of development, and to put in the place the necessary procedures and controls to manage that process,' he added. 'There's still much to be achieved, so until then it's business as usual!' 'The Governing Body is immensely grateful to Leslie for all that he has achieved with ABRSM during his career here, first as Director of Publishing, and more recently as Chief Executive. It is hard to do justice to the influence that Leslie has had on the direction, growth, and success of ABRSM during the past 15 years. We wish him very well for the future,' added Colette Bowe, Chairman of ABRSM's Governing Body. We expect to announce Leslie's successor later in the year.