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1st May, 2023

Guildhall School appoints Armin Zanner as Vice Principal & Director of Music and welcomes Dr Robert Bennett as new Chief Operating Officer

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Two senior staff appointments have been announced at Guildhall School that will be critical in supporting the implementation of the School’s forthcoming strategic plan, and will play an important part in the effective operations and management of the institution.

Armin Zanner has been appointed to the permanent role of Vice Principal & Director of Music. Armin was Head of Vocal Studies for nine years, and from 2021–23, was also Interim Director of Music. In due course, Guildhall School will begin the search for a new Head of Vocal Studies.

On 9 May, Dr Robert Bennett joins the School from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, as Chief Operating Officer. This new position will play a key role in the School’s Executive team, reporting to and supporting the Principal in developing strategic and financial planning, and leading on all aspects of management and operational delivery of the School.

Principal of Guildhall School, Professor Jonathan Vaughan, said:

“Armin Zanner has already proven himself an inspiring, loyal and compassionate leader with an exciting vision for the future of the Music Department. I am delighted that he has been appointed as Vice Principal & Director of Music following a comprehensive search and recruitment process.”

“I’m also pleased to announce Dr. Robert Bennett as our new Chief Operating Officer. I look forward to what he will bring to the position and the School, drawing on a wealth of experience in the higher education sector as a welcome addition to our Executive team.”

Vice-Principal and Director of Music, Armin Zanner, said: 

“It is a great honour to take on the position of Vice-Principal and Director of Music. I come to the role with deep commitment to Guildhall School, with passion for the creative, dynamic community it is today, and with ambition to realise Guildhall’s extraordinary potential for the future. That ambition is motivated by a wish to build on the positive experiences I have had here, to extend them to new, broader cohorts of Guildhall music-makers, and to expand the School’s national and international impact as we work to reinforce the importance and the power of the performing arts for all of us in the mid twenty-first century.”

Chief Operating Officer, Dr Robert Bennett, said: 

“I am looking forward immensely to joining Guildhall School as its new Chief Operating Officer in May. I had the great privilege to visit Guildhall in February and was immediately struck by the energy of the students and staff and the great sense of community and creativity. Whilst my professional background is rather different, I have a shared passion for the benefits that outstanding higher education brings and the great power of the arts to contribute to our society. I hope to contribute to the great energy at the Guildhall and add my own personal commitment to the very special community at the heart of the School.” 

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