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The Adelaide Arts Festival has announced David Sefton as artistic director commencing in 2013, following jazz musician Paul Grabowsky’s two-year tenure. The Liverpool-born arts programmer will begin working with the festival in May, moving to Australia with his family later this year.
Sefton comes to the new role having coordinated Los Angeles’ UCLA Live performing arts program for almost ten years. Prior to that, he was responsible for contemporary culture at the Royal Festival Hall in London, where his impressive roster of performers and guest artistic directors included Elvis Costello, Laurie Anderson, John Peel, Nick Cave, Nina Simone, John Cale and Phillip Glass.
He has signed on in Adelaide for the first three years of the festival’s shift from a biennial to an annual presentation. Founded in 1960, the event attracts international artists and spans several weeks, encompassing opera, music, theatre, dance and literature.
"I am thrilled and delighted to accept this appointment”, said Sefton. “To come into a festival with the reputation and history of the Adelaide Festival is an enormous honour and I look forward to the opportunities presented playing a part in its future".
Richard Ryan, Chair of the Adelaide Festival Board, praised the incoming director’s “wealth of experience and a dynamic curatorial approach which he has showcased at major performing arts venues”.