Just in: Troubled US orchestra chief resigns

Just in: Troubled US orchestra chief resigns


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2015

Roland Valliere has quit overnight as president and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, after less than two years in the job. Earlier this year he told the music director she could go because the orch cannot afford one.

Players have taken a 38% wage cut. The orchestra in Elvis city is fast disappearing.



  • Michelle Pellay-Walker says:

    Can the MSO/ROPA rep enlighten everyone on the above so that they don’t go off as misinformed as they are otherwise going to be? One’s hard put to point out anything that’s correct on the above as it stands right now!

  • Stanley Friedman says:

    Please look into this further. Three years ago the MSO was a huge success, artistically and, as far as anyone knew, fiscally as well. Then, suddenly there was no money, and the musicians’ work environment became toxic. Valliere and Chen inherited an orchestra in peak form but now are leaving it in near shambles.

    • Ppellay says:

      No, not quite. 5 years ago Chen inherited an orchestra in rude health and has done good work at an artistic level at least. Valliere arrived on the scene 2 years ago to rescue an orchestra brought to the brink of a financial precipice, and he’s stepping down now that he feels he has brought it back into financial solvency. Chen steps down at the end of the coming season as she always intimated she would, and becomes the MSO’s Conductor Emeritus hereafter. The above “report” is misleading on more than one front.

  • CDH says:

    Just to review: here’s the background.


    And here’s more recent news:


    And I am not sure Mr. Valiere, a turnaround specialist, has exactly “quit overnight”:

    “The president and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra is stepping down.

    Effective Nov. 9, 2015, Roland Valliere will no longer hold the leadership position. He will serve in an “advisory capacity” to help with the transition.”

    As other articles make clear, he will be leaving the orchestra healthier than it has been and will indeed be there to advise through the transition. He is a turnaround specialist. They gather little moss.

    Hard to get a clear line her eon what is happening.

  • V.Lind says:

    Grammar! The headline suggests Valliere is troubled. Don’t think so, from reading the links. He is going home after what reads like a successful tenure.