The LAST WORD: Louise Mitchell, CEO, Bristol Music Trust

July 13, 2018

Each week Bristol Business News gives a prominent member of the city’s business community the last word on its weekly e-bulletin. This week Louise Mitchell, CEO of Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, answers our 10 questions.

What was the LAST: 

Film you watched? Darkest Hour. I’m not very good with films as I tend to fall asleep! Nothing to do with the film more to do with me. But I loved that the film referred Churchill mobilising the English language to beat Hitler.

Book you read? I’m just finishing Do No Harm by Henry Marsh which is a neurosurgeon’s account of what it’s like to literally hold someone’s life in your hands and how to cope with not getting it right all the time. I read a lot of crime fiction, but this was an attempt to go slightly up market. I’m in a book club and for me happiness is having a shelf of books ready to read.

Music you bought/downloaded? I spend a lot of time of trains and I always make sure I have plenty to listen to. I’m listening to an album called Cross the Line by a Scottish group call Fara. It’s four young girls from Orkney who have a great take on Scottish traditional music which I enjoy. They’ve been cheering up my train journeys over the last few days.

Concert or play you went to? A Monster Calls at the Bristol Old Vic which I thought was absolutely phenomenal. It was the best thing I’ve seen on stage for quite a long time, an incredibly powerful piece of theatre dealing with the impact of cancer. The thing I liked most was the imagination of the play. I go to the theatre as often as I can both locally in Bristol and in London.

Sporting event you attended? I’m a passionate watcher of Wimbledon but I haven’t been to Wimbledon for a few years. I watch Today at Wimbledon every day. I’m a fan of Federer and Nadal although he is harder to watch as he has so much compulsive behaviour. I also really enjoy watching the doubles, especially Jamie Murray.

Holiday you went on? I’m lucky enough to have a friend who has a house in Slovenia which is in a valley full of vineyards. I went there last year and I’m going later this month. My friend is a theatre designer and has a little amphitheatre in his garden and local musicians come and play. I’m very much looking forward to going again!

Restaurant you ate in? My favourite local restaurant is Greens on Zetland Road which is very friendly, and they always seem to be able to fit you in, even when you haven’t booked. You can’t beat their Sunday lunch and it’s served until 6pm so you can enjoy a lovely meal after day out and about.

Thing that annoyed you? People who don’t do what they say they are going to do. In my book a promise is a promise.

Thing that made you laugh out loud? I’m a huge fan of Dead Ringers on Radio 4. I don’t know what they are going to do without their Brexit Bulldog, who is characterised by David Davis, so I’m looking forward to what happens this week.

Piece of good advice you were given? Just do the best you can at the time. Don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen in the future.

Louise Mitchell is CEO of Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, and has been in Bristol since 2011. She has led Colston Hall’s Transformation campaign which so far has raised £43m out of a £48.8m target to transform the hall into an international standard concert facility and a national centre for entertainment, education and enterprise across the arts. Louise also worked with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble, was concerts manager with the London Sinfonietta for five years, went on to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, but found her building management feet in Glasgow. There, as head of the Royal Concert Hall, she spearheaded the regeneration of two of the city’s most revered venues, the City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket, and nurtured the world-famous Celtic Connections Festival. Earlier this month she was appointed a member of the South West Council of Arts Council England.




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