Update: Baltimore has a new bossmain
We hear that the Baltimore Symphony has hired Peter Kjome from the Grand Rapids Symphony as its next chief executive. He replaces Paul Meecham, who left in June to join the Utah Symphony. UPDATE: The appointment was confirmed today; he starts work on February 1st.
Kjome, 49, is a Grand Rapids lifer, graduating from principal oboe to CEO in 2008. He had some business experience before his music career, working eight years for 3M after graduation.
In 2011, Kjome negotiated four months of turbulence in a difficult contract negotiation wit the Grand Rapids musicians. This year, he appointed the Brazilian Marcelo Lehninger as music director.
In Baltimore, he faces a dying contract – it ends next September – and an unsettled organisation.
Sorry for my ignorance – is it rare for an orchestral musician to graduate to CEO of the same orchestra?
It’s pretty rare (in a North American unionized orchestra at least), but not unheard of. Relatively few orchestra musicians who have landed full-time performing jobs switch careers into orchestra management. It’s different in orchestras that are run by their musicians (i.e. Vienna Phil, London Symphony), where the musicians are calling the shots, so having one of their own running the office fits well.
Milwaukee Symphony, Mark Niehaus was principal trumpet
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra hired oboist James Roe to President a few years ago (he recently left to be lead another orchestra). It’s not common, but it’s not uncommon.
The Baltimore Sun has the story here, replete with spin from the witless board chair. Ask anyone close to the BSO, it has been total chaos since Paul Meecham left for Utah. Ticket sales have declined precipitously since the Marketing team was fired and outsourced to a firm.
Clive Gillinson at the LSO (Now Carnegie Hall)
Is Baltimore still like it was portrayed in David Simon’s famous TV series, “The Wire”? That was anything but complimentary.