New Programme Director joins the Serious senior team

The Directors of Serious, Claire Whitaker, David Jones and John Cumming are delighted to be able to announce a number of new positions and promotions within our organisation.

Pelin Opcin
Pelin will be joining the team in February as Director of Programming. Pelin has been the Director of Istanbul Jazz Festival, organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, since 2005. After leading the UNESCO & Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Jazz Day celebrations in Istanbul, last year she joined the international advisory committee for International Jazz Day.

Pelin Opcin said: ‘I’ve been working in London on international projects for over 15 years, and I’ve always been inspired by the British music scene, so I’m thrilled to be joining Serious and helping to develop their national and international artistic programme’ 

John Cumming said ‘Claire, David and I are excited about welcoming Pelin to Serious – with her in the team, there’s another champion in Serious for jazz and the international musics that inspire the company.’

The Senior Management team is now:

Anna Casey
Anna has been at Serious for two Jazz Festivals and been a great success, so we're happy to announce her promotion to Head of Learning & Participation, where she will be responsible for devising, managing and realising the company's programmes in this field.

Fran Bryant
Fran was appointed in 2017, taking up a new role as Head of Operations. Serious have worked closely with Fran for many years in her two previous posts, at Southbank Centre and before that at the Barbican, and are delighted to have her on board.

Liz Skipper
Liz joins Serious as our new Head of Development, joining us from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Foundation, where she was the Senior Development Manager. Liz’s work will focus on new business development through the establishment of partnerships in the public, private and NGO sectors.

Ope Igbinyemi
Having headed up the Finance team for 18 years, Ope gets a promotion to Director of Finance.

Piers Mason
Piers has been with Serious for five years, and remains as Associate Director of Communications. Previously he worked as Head of Marketing for the Mayor’s Thames Festival and as Head of Sponsorship & Communications at The Big Chill.

Rob Farhat
Rob takes up another new post as Talent Development and Jazz Programme Manager. Rob comes to us Dublin, where he was previously the director of Ensemble Music.

Trish Brown
Trish joined us as Head of Production - coming from St George’s Bristol, where she was Festival Manager of the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. Trish brings a wealth of experience, great national connections and a genuine enthusiasm for delivering high-quality productions across all of our work.