John Berry, English National Opera’s Artistic Director, has been awarded the CBE for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2014.
John joined ENO as Casting Director in 1995, rising to Director of Opera Planning before becoming Artistic Director in 2005. During his time with ENO the Company has developed a global reputation for its bold and distinctive approach to opera. John pioneered a new model for international co-productions with opera houses worldwide, resulting in the company’s work now being seen in more than 35 countries.
Martyn Rose, Chairman of ENO’s Board said: 'I am delighted that John’s contribution to the world of music and his work at ENO has been recognised in this way. His artistic vision has helped to build the national and international reputation for highly theatrical and dramatic opera that makes ENO so unique, and he has been a driving force in working with the Board to develop the commercial relationships which will ensure the future of ENO as an opera company of the 21st century.'
A professional clarinettist, Berry trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and subsequently studied with Gervase de Peyer at The Mannes College of Music New York. Hodgkin’s disease prematurely ended his promising playing career so he founded the ‘Brereton’ Summer School, bringing acclaimed artists such as Thomas Hampson, Birgit Nilsson, Shirley Verrett and Rennata Scotto to the UK, before becoming an artists’ manager. He spent several years raising money for Cancer Research and during the 1990s founded and ran a privately funded music school in Cheshire for more than 500 children. He has sat on numerous vocal competition panels around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a vocal adviser to the Royal College of Music and the Hallé Orchestra and a consultant for the BBC and Channel 4 on opera film projects before joining ENO as Casting Director in 1995.