Arts

After Nearly 2 Years, Oregon Symphony Names New Leader

OPB | May 22, 2014 11:03 a.m. | Updated: May 24, 2014 8:39 a.m. | Portland

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Scott Showalter has been named the next President and CEO of the Oregon Symphony. This ends a period of nearly two years without a chief executive in place.

Showalter was a prolific fundraiser for the University of Chicago and Stanford Law school. His last job was managing a staff of 28 as Vice President of Development for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the largest orchestral group in the country.

Courtesy of the Oregon Symphony

He says while the cultural and financial landscape of Oregon is very different from L.A., he wants to figure out what works for the region. He says he’d like for the Oregon Symphony to broaden its reputation as an orchestra on the move.

“I think there’s no question the business model of the future will look different. If we’re not constantly pushing this art form, it will die.”

Showalter begins his job in July. He says he’s asked the board to step up its financial commitment.  The symphony is in preliminary talks with the musicians’ union about its contract expiring in August.. Those talks will continue with Showalter at the helm.

Full disclosure, OPB’s CEO Steve Bass sits on the Symphony’s board.


 The version of this story posted at noon Thursday May 22nd incorrectly incorrectly stated fundraising at the L.A. Philharmonic when Scott Showalter was Vice President for Development. The Department raised thirty million dollars ($30 million) in fiscal year 2012. OPB regrets the error.

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