Tony has had very wide experience in arts administration, promotion and development. He studied English and drama at Manchester University before gaining a bursary from The Arts Council to study Arts administration. He then went on to be administrator, General Manager and Director of a number of theatres and organisations around the country including The Palace Theatre, Watford and The Royal Academy of Dancing, where he worked very closely with the President, Dame Margot Fonteyn. He also ran the newly restored small Georgian Theatre, The Kenton in Henley on Thames, initiating the first Henley Festival and giving a budding young talent, Cameron Mackintosh (now Sir Cameron), his first chance of producing.
He later specialised in Press and Marketing and was the first Press officer for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford working with such artists as Sir Michael Redgrave, Ingmar Bergman, Dinah Sheridan and many others. Following Guildford he was appointed as head of Marketing and Press of the London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) under the directorship of Dame Beryl Grey and toured extensively with the great Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. He remained with LFB for over seven years before joining Frank Dunlop CBE as Head of Publicity at the Young Vic Theatre where he stayed for four years before being appointed Director of Publicity for the new Arts Centre in Epsom.
In 1986 he was asked to take over as Artistic Director of the Richmond Theatre where he developed a policy of presenting a challenging programme of plays and particularly premieres, including that of a playwright he had known since his University days, Alan Ayckbourne. This was Woman in Mind starring Julia Mackenzie which went on to have a long West End run.
In 1988 he set up his own firm Tony Barlow Associates which is a Press and Marketing consultancy for the Arts. His clients have ranged from the Kirov Ballet, visiting Russia several times, Natasha Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev to singers Della Jones, Victoria de los Angeles and Howard Keel. He worked for several years with Arts International who were responsible for bringing to the UK many distinguished dance and opera companies from Eastern Europe. He has helped develop the careers of many musicians including the fine Spanish pianist Maria Garzón, the South American pianist Clara Rodriguez, the American Bassoonist Robert Thompson and the American multi-percussionist Joe Gramley.