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March 14, 2024

American Ballet Theatre Welcomes Barry Hughson as New Executive Director

Barry Hughson portraitBarry Hughson. Photo: Karolina Kuras, courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada.

NEW YORK, NY  – American Ballet Theatre and Andrew Barth, Chairman of the Board of Governing Trustees, are delighted to announce Barry Hughson’s appointment as the Company’s new Executive Director, effective July 1, 2024. Hughson, known for his transformative leadership within the arts sector, joins ABT with an impressive track record from his previous tenure at The National Ballet of Canada, where he was pivotal in strengthening the company’s financial foundations and international stature.

Hughson’s career is distinguished by his commitment to the arts, demonstrated through his strategic leadership roles at some of the most respected ballet companies, including the Boston Ballet and Atlanta Ballet. His achievements encompass a broad range of initiatives to expand audience engagement, enhance financial health, and foster artistic collaboration. At The National Ballet of Canada, he led significant projects that elevated the company’s profile and ensured its sustainability, underscoring his ability to merge artistic vision with operational excellence.

Andrew Barth expressed his enthusiasm for Hughson’s appointment, emphasizing the alignment of his experience with ABT’s mission: “It is a great honor to welcome Barry Hughson to ABT. His commitment to the arts and his visionary leadership are exactly what ABT needs as we move forward. Barry’s ability to balance artistic excellence with operational acumen promises an exciting new chapter for our beloved institution.”

Susan Jaffe, Artistic Director, shared her anticipation of collaborating with Hughson: “What a profound honor it is for me to work alongside Barry as we chart ABT’s future. His leadership and dedication to the arts will undoubtedly enrich our Company, furthering our commitment to excellence and innovation.”

Barry Hughson shared his vision for ABT’s future: “ABT is an American treasure and holds an important place in dance history. It is a profound honor to help navigate post-pandemic challenges, pursue opportunities for growth, and protect a Company that I have loved from the time I was a young ballet student dreaming big dreams. I look forward to working with the exceptional team at ABT, Andrew Barth, and Susan Jaffe to continue the legacy of excellence and to introduce our remarkable artists to wider audiences. Together, we will write the next chapter in the storied history of this remarkable Company.”

With Hughson, the Company looks forward to continuing its tradition of excellence and innovation in the world of ballet.

For more details about Barry Hughson’s professional journey and vision for American Ballet Theatre, please visit



American Ballet Theatre is one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Revered as a national treasure since its founding season in 1940, its mission is to create, present, preserve, and extend the great repertoire of classical dancing for the widest possible audience. Headquartered in New York City, ABT is the only cultural institution of its size and stature to extensively tour, enchanting audiences for eight decades in 50 U.S. states, 45 countries, and over 480 cities worldwide. ABT’s repertoire includes full-length classics from the nineteenth century, the finest works from the early twentieth century, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces. In 2006, by an act of Congress, ABT was designated America’s National Ballet Company®.


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