Tony Wadsworth CBE announced as the new Chair of The BRIT Trust

Music charity The BRIT Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Wadsworth CBE as its new Chair. 

London, 26th February 2021

Tony, a BRIT Trustee for 16 years and a hugely respected industry figure including for his tenure as Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK and Chair of the BPI, takes over from John Craig OBE, who announced in November that he would be standing down from the role.

Reacting to his appointment as new Chair of The BRIT Trust, Tony Wadsworth CBE said:

“I am honoured to be the new Chair of The BRIT Trust, and to have this opportunity to work with my fellow trustees to build on the outstanding  work of the Trust since its formation in 1989. 

“The BRIT Trust is the music industry’s charity and provides funding to the BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, among many others, that promote education and wellbeing through music encouraging values of accessibility, diversity and inclusion. The huge challenges created by the pandemic mean that the work of the Trust is now needed more than ever, but while our guiding principles remain the same, this changed landscape means there is now also an opportunity to reset some of the ways we can look to achieve our goals so these are more closely aligned with the needs of our industry and the communities we are here to serve.”


Universal Music UK’s Rebecca Allen (President, EMI Records) and Selina Webb (Executive Vice President of Universal Music UK), who are Co-Chairs of this year’s BRITs Committee, said:

“Music and the creative arts enrich all our lives. Nobody understands this better than the BRIT Trust who do a fantastic job in bringing the industry together behind countless charities and initiatives which amplify the power of music, and support those in need. As Chair, Tony will bring leadership, energy and unrivalled industry experience to help take the work of this important charity to the next level.”


Also welcoming Tony Wadsworth’s appointment, BPI & BRIT Awards Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor, said:

“Having had the privilege of working very closely with Tony when he was Chair of the BPI, I know first-hand the vision, experience and collaborative leadership he will bring to this role. The work of the BRIT Trust has never been more important, at a time when young people face more obstacles than ever in developing their creative careers.

“I’m certain that Tony will take the vital work of the Trust forward with new impetus and a refreshed sense of purpose.”


The BRIT Trust receives much of its funding from the charitable proceeds of music event such as The BRIT Awards and the annual fundraising dinner the Music Industry Trusts Award, which it then distributes as grants to charities and causes that promote education and wellbeing through music. 


Around £27 million has been donated through the Trust since it was established by the music industry in 1989, in the process providing thousands of young people of all backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to successful careers, with extensive opportunities to work in the music and the creative industries.  The biggest beneficiaries to



date include The BRIT School – the leading performing and creative arts school in the UK that is completely free to attend – which has received nearly £15 million in funding, and Nordoff Robbins, the leading independent music therapy charity in the UK, which has had around £8 million in support.  Other causes to benefit from the Trust include mental health charities Mind and Music Support, youth offending rehabilitation charity Key4Life, and ELAM (East London Arts and Music), as well as funding apprenticeships for young people through the BPI’s BRITs Apprentice Scheme.




Gennaro Castaldo                                              +44 (0)7801 194 139


Notes to Editors

About The BRIT Trust |  

Established by the music industry in 1989, The BRIT Trust sees its mission as improving lives through the power of music and the creative arts; helping people to realise their full potential and life chances, whatever their abilities, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

The Trust has to date donated around £27 million to a range of progressive causes, including The BRIT School, the UK’s leading performing and creative arts school that is free to attend, and Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy provider, as its main beneficiaries since 1989.  Other charities supported include Mind, to promote good mental health in schools, the music industry and the workplace; Music Support, the addictions and mental health charity; East London Arts & Music (ELAM), the free school sixth form; and Key4Life, which seeks to help young men in prison, or who are at risk of ending up there, away from a life of crime by drawing on their passion for music. 


About Tony Wadsworth, CBE

Tony Wadsworth CBE was Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland from 1998 to 2008. In a 26 year career with the UK based company, he held many roles including Managing Director of the Parlophone label, a label which he relaunched in the  early 1990’s achieving sustained hits with artists such as Blur, Radiohead, Crowded House, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner and Queen.  His subsequent move to running all of EMI’s UK labels saw a period of global success with artists such as Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, Gorillaz ,the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and many others. Prior to joining EMI, Tony gained a degree in Economics from Newcastle University and spent the following 3 years playing in a band with his college friends. He later worked for various record labels before joining EMI. In December 2014 , Tony stepped down after 7 years  as Chairman of the BPI, the representative body of the UK recorded music industry and Chairman of BRIT Awards Ltd.  He is Chair and a trustee of the BRIT Trust.

Tony is also Chairman of Julie’s Bicycle, the leading global charity bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative industries. He is a Trustee of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, a charity devoted to improving young people’s access to music education and a Trustee of the EMI Archive Trust.  He is a non-executive board director of BIMM, the market leader in popular music higher education, and on the board of Sage Gateshead . Tony has an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Gloucestershire and holds the post of Visiting Professor in the music and business schools of the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

In March 2008, Tony was awarded the prestigious Music Week Strat award for outstanding contribution to the UK music industry, and in 2009 was awarded the Scott Piering Award by the Radio Academy to recognise outstanding contribution to music radio.  In June 2011, he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the UK music industry.