Annie Lydford has been chief executive of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields since 2022.

Prior to this, Annie held roles with English National Opera, the Creative Industries Federation and Nevill Holt Opera. Annie serves on the board of the Buxton International Festival and was a founding board member of SWAP'ra (the organisation supporting woman and parents in opera). Annie has been organist and director of music at St Anne's Church, Soho, since 2013, and has also performed internationally and on BBC Radio 3. In addition to her time studying as a member of the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department and on the Organ Year-In course, Annie has a first class Masters degree in Music from the University of Cambridge (where she was also organ scholar at Gonville and Caius College); an MBA from the Open University' and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

'As a teenager, coming to the Junior Department each Saturday were my happiest days. The incredible care shown to students and the pleasure of making music each week with my friends stays with me today, and certainly shaped my desire to enter the industry as an adult - albeit on the management rather than the performing side. We explored such a variety of music and were able to push ourselves and strive for excellence in an environment that felt supportive, safe - and fun! I owe a great deal to the Academy both for my time as a junior and then a year spent studying flute and organ as a senior. Although I went on to study elsewhere, coming back will always feel a little bit like coming home.'

Annie Lydford