From the President
It is with mixed emotions but exhilarated by the opportunity that I prepare to leave St. Louis to become the Dean of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, beginning June 1, 2014.
While I am excited about this new opportunity, I will miss working in this wonderful institution, the core of which is the incredible quality and esprit de corps of the St. Louis Symphony musicians. They have been wonderful colleagues in the broadening and deepening of the programming that we have put in place over these last six years. Their talent, artistry and flexibility have, with the support of a strong marketing team, expanded our audiences and reversed the decline in attendance experienced in the last decade. And because of the quality of this orchestra, remarkable donors, a most generous community, along with an ever-expanding relationship to that community through our community partnerships, contributed operating revenues have reached a new high. This could not have happened without a committed board along with strong development and external affairs teams. Now, with a campaign well underway to build on a $160m endowment today, more success and long-term sustainability is on the horizon.
It has been a joy to watch the orchestra’s national and international reputation flourish over the years with regular invitations to Carnegie Hall, two west coast tours for the first time in a decade, and a triumphant return to Europe for the first time since 1998, as well as a return to recording and live radio broadcasts. And St. Louis had another opportunity to shine as we hosted the League of American Orchestras Conference in 2013 for the first time since 1966.
Much is possible going forward with wonderful people in place doing great things. The orchestra contract negotiated more than a year in advance provides for true labor stability through 2017. Our institution has a committed board, and an excellent management team and staff.
As for my new path, the Peabody Institute is the oldest and amongst the top conservatories in the United States today, and Johns Hopkins University a leading institution world-wide. It has been my desire to ultimately focus on training future artists that are coming of age in a more complex environment than ever before. To be able to do that in a place like Peabody and in the context of one of the world’s great universities is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
It has been a privilege and honor to be part of this community. I look forward to continuing this work through mid-May. After that, I will watch and cheer the St. Louis Symphony on as it continues on a trajectory of success for years to come.