Just in: Chicago Symphony loses another top exec

Just in: Chicago Symphony loses another top exec


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2014

Martha Gilmer, head of artistic planing and a Chicago Symphony vet of 38 years, is moving to San Diego as CEO.

Her departure follows that of CSO president Deborah Rutter, who has gone to Washington.

Neither will be easy to replace. Andrew Patner has the story here.

martha gilmer


  • Robert Levin says:

    Deborah Rutter, Mathieu Dufour and now Martha Gilmer! Any one of these individuals is a great loss to the CSO and Chicago, but all three – that’s a lot for a major organization to lose within such a brief period of time. Let’s hope Muti doesn’t get any ideas and that Eugene Izotov is not seriously contemplating a move to San Francisco.

  • Andrew Patner says:

    Robert, Good to have your concern for the CSO. But nothing here is out of the ordinary. Deborah had an outstanding, accomplishment-rich 11 years here. Martha spent 35 (!) packed, revered years in artistic. Each, in her mid-50s, is ready for one more big professional, leadership challenge. For Deborah, the Kennedy Center is a logical next step. For, Martha, the chance to run an orchestra enterprise herself and in a beautiful new city where she can have real impact, the same. As for Mathieu Dufour, no one knows his plans. He’s been offered the Berlin post, yes. Will he take it? Will he ask for a leave of absence from Chicago if he does? And what will happen after his first, trial season if he does go to Berlin this fall? When he tried out Los Angeles, he came back, early. I’d suggest tuning in in autumn 2015 to see where things are. Principal clarinet Stephen Williamson, by the way, who “left” for the New York Phil a year ago, is now back in Chicago. Muti is very happy in Chicago, is involved in interviewing potential successors for Deborah’s job, and has extended his contract through 2019-2020. I don’t see Eugene Izotov going anywhere. But who knows? These things happen. A healthy orchestra is also an evolving orchestra. People — even great people — do leave. Others, though, appear. Even Deborah did not know in 2003 just how superbly things would look at the CSOA in 2014. Cheers!

  • Darren says:

    I hope she ‘gets rid’ of Jahja Ling….San Diego needs a change.