Orch moves: LA grabs Detroit VP

Orch moves: LA grabs Detroit VP


norman lebrecht

August 20, 2015

Scott Harrison, external relations head of the Detroit Symphony, has been named chief exec of the Los Angeles Chamber Orch. Scott, 35, walks into an orch in flux.

Music director Jeffrey Kahane is leaving after 20 years, donations are down 50% and no-one knows what the orch is there for any more.

Only way is up.


scott harrison


  • Michael says:

    I can’t speak for anyone else here in LA, but the Alex Theatre seems like a pretty poor venue and that’s one of the reasons I never go. (I live on the east side, so that is the closer by far of the two venues for their orchestral concerts.)

  • Alvaro says:

    Another musician turned admin now leads another ensemble.

    I wonder, do they teach DCF and Financial accounting in Bassoon programs these days? Man, things have Changed huh? How is a bassoonist going to face a 700K deficit? Any experience turning around a distressed P&L as “external relations” in detroit??

    But hey, then we wonder “WHY ARE ORCHESTRAS FAILING!?!?”

    • William Safford says:

      According to his bio, he has bachelor’s degrees in both music and political science from Northwestern (and a master’s in music from SMU).

      People can bring many skills to the table that are not necessarily reflected in the degree(s) earned in college. The man who designed and built my contrabassoon has a degree in botany. *shrug*

      • Alvaro says:

        …..which is precisely why jobs should be allocated based on skill. This – again – begs my question: what are his skills managing tight budgets, and a distressed P&L? Operations?

        Sounds more like those political science courses are paying dividends for bassoonists.

        I don’t care what is the profession of the maker of your contrabassoon, you’d hope he actually has experience working with wood. I hope….

        • William Safford says:

          I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him?

          As for my instrument, its sisters play in such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Metropolitan Opera. So the maker must be doing something right….

  • AnnaT says:

    Well, if he was a significant part of Detroit’s recovery, he can face a decline in giving in LA.

  • Anahid says:

    No doubt they appointed Scott because he’s a positive leader, undaunted by challenges, and forward thinking. Not to mention really smart and very experienced. Lucky LACO.