Australian Lissa Twomey has been appointed as the new artistic director of the biennial New Zealand International Arts Festival and will take over from Carla Van Zon when she leaves in April after the 2006 festival.
Ms Twomey, currently the associate director of the Sydney Festival, was chosen over candidates from Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, festival chairwoman Fran Wilde said today.
"Lissa was outstanding. She has 10 years' experience in the performing arts sector with remarkable sensibility in a wide range of artistic genres."
Ms Twomey, whose contract begins in February, will progressively move to Wellington over the next year.
"I know this festival, how it responds to Wellington and the greater arts community in New Zealand.
"It is a privilege to take on the challenging role of ensuring that the ongoing artistic vision further consolidates the festival's local and international standing," she said.
Ms Wilde said Ms Twomey already had a "substantial" international reputation.
"One of her referees -- himself highly regarded as an artistic director -- told us that Lissa would be one of the great festival directors in the world."