News May 18, 2021

QMusic appoints Kris Stewart as CEO to replace Angela Samut

QMusic appoints Kris Stewart as CEO to replace Angela Samut

QMusic has revealed who will take over as its CEO following the departure of Angela Samut.

Last week, TMN revealed Samut had resigned from her post. The news came after she was named in an explosive expose piece by Poppy Reid at The Industry Observer which delved into the cover-up culture around sexual assault in Australia’s music industry, however the departure was said to be unrelated.

Instead, she’s leaving to pursue other challenges and spend more time with her young family.

The void left by Samut will be filled by Kris Stewart, QMusic announced this morning.

Stewart will join on June 14 after an eight-year term as artistic director at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

During his time there he oversaw 2,500 productions which sold more than 1 million tickets. There was also a 91% increase in programming local artists.

He was also the founding director of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, Sydney Fringe, MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture, Wonderland Festival and Curiocity Brisbane.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Brisbane Powerhouse, but my background in festivals and major events means I’ve been hungry to get my hands dirty again, and events such as BIGSOUND and the Queensland Music Awards take me back to what I love,” he said.

“While QMusic is a new environment for me, its commitment to artist development, sector advocacy and supporting and promoting the incredible work that is made in Queensland feels like the perfect extension to what I’ve loved doing at Brisbane Powerhouse.”

His predecessor, Samut, congratulated him on his appointment and said she’s looking forward to seeing QMusic’s agenda come to life in 2021.

Samut joined QMusic in 2019

“I stayed on with QMusic since resigning a few months ago to ensure a seamless handover, to stage the Queensland Music Awards and to help give the live music industry a voice during these challenging times,” Samut said.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with my young family but I will be watching eagerly from the wings as some of the hugely creative and innovative opportunities and ideas that have emerged become a reality, contributing to the sustainability and success of QMusic, BIGSOUND and our state’s industry in the future.”

Stewart, in turn, paid tribute to the outgoing CEO.

“Ange and her team did an exceptional job shepherding BIGSOUND through the turbulence of COVID to provide an excellent and relevant online program,” Stewart said.

“She leaves QMusic in such a strong and well-connected place and I’m coming into an organisation that’s secure and in one of the best positions it’s held.”

And the president of the QMusic management committee, Natalie Strijland, thanked Samut for leading the organisation through the COVID-19 crisis and welcomed Stewart.

“During her tenure, Angela has delivered our signature events of BIGSOUND and the Queensland Music Awards at a world-class level and has advanced the interests of artists, venues and other stakeholders with skill and compassion,” Strijland said.

“We are excited to have Kris lead the team in bringing our signature events, grants and industry connect events to Queensland in 2021 and beyond. With him comes deep commercial experience in live presentation and a lifelong commitment to artists and industry development.”

The Brisbane Powerhouse is currently recruiting for a new CEO/ artistic director.

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