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Sneaker Pimps guitarist becomes Principal of Leeds Conservatoire

Professor Joe Wilson, the lead guitarist of Hartlepool cult band Sneaker Pimps, has been appointed Principal of Leeds Conservatoire, run by the Yorkshire-based Luminate Education Group.

Joe Wilson is a respected musician, producer, visual artist and educator. His output has included exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and the CCA in Glasgow, and producing music for numerous film and television productions.

Apart from his work with Sneaker Pimps, he has produced Client, Trash Money, Ultrafox and remixed IAMX under the moniker Omega Man.

He lectured in Popular Music at the University of Gloucester before he joined Leeds Conservatoire (then Leeds College of Music) in 2013. As Director of Curriculum, he helped the college expand its provision to include performing arts, production and a wider range of musical formats. He was installed as interim Principal in September last year, but the position has now been made permanent. He is the fifth to hold the position since the conservatoire was founded as Leeds College of Music in the mid-sixties.

At the announcement of his appointment, Joe Wilson said, ‘It is a huge honour for me to be appointed as Principal of Leeds Conservatoire.  With our friends and partners in the city and across the Luminate Education Group, Leeds Conservatoire is well- placed to collectively drive the conservatoire to greater levels of excellence with inclusive and diverse music and performance.

‘I want to thank all students and staff for their professionalism, dedication and creativity over the lockdown period. If we can achieve as much as we have over the last fifteen months, just think of what we can achieve with the cultural leaders and educators in the region by playing our part in the heart of the cultural quarter of Leeds.’

The 1,300 capacity conservatoire is owned and operated by the former directors of the Leeds City College group and is one of several educational establishments in Leeds, Keighley and Harrogate operated by the group. It offers a wide range of graduate, post-graduate and junior courses, including Musician/Actor, Jazz, Folk, Classical, Popular, Theatre Music, Music Production and Business subjects. It also offers foundation courses in production and summer schools.