La Jolla loses both artistic directors at once

La Jolla loses both artistic directors at once


norman lebrecht

January 11, 2018

Kristin Lancino has resigned as president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society for ‘personal reasons’, effective tomorrow morning.

Stuff happens.

But no sooner was word out of her departure than it became known that Cho-Liang Lin had also decided some months back to quit as music director of the Society’s SummerFest.

So there are now two holes to fill in La Jolla.


  • Doug says:

    This smells of yet another example of a volunteer board of directors (typically led by a small cabal) believing they “know better” than the experienced professional.

    Until the model changes where these A-type volunteers (often obsessed with B-type tasks) continue to wield enormous power, then, as I pointed out in a post yesterday, the arts-administrator-revolving-door will continue to spin so fast you’re often not certain if you are on the way out or on the way in.

    • Elize says:

      I could not agree with your assessment more.

    • PD says:

      Are you implying that all “experienced professionals” always know better? I don’t know Kristin Lancino (and what the real reasons of her resignation are) but I know that there are also some rather incompetent arts administrators out there and it doesn’t shock me that board members, who after all pour quite a lot of money in these organizations (especially in the US), would have a say.

  • says:

    It is a common practice of members of our Not-for-profit boards who were at one time in there life time, at the height of the our communities financial, business, Social, political and communitilies most respected leadership to individuals who have now retired and have an abundance of time on their hands in the twilight years of their lives and are hoping to once again exercise their long ago POWER, SMARTS, LEADERSHIP, in fields of endever to which they have NO skills. The also fail to realize the difference between governance and administration and now that they have those long lonely days without past demands for their talent, resources, skills and decision making expertise in fields of indeaver which has now left them behind, they compromise the community organizations future that they claim they have come to help. SAD, but so unfortunately true, they are the problem, not the answer to truly supporting and servicing our rare community resources and WE THE COMMUNIT LOSE, along with those truly young and dedicated professionals we have received to manage these the rare and valuable community resources were intended to serve al of us and the best interest of ALL. Richard P Robinson (RPRobinson19@Comcast.Com.

  • Jenie Dahlmann, Director of Marketing, LJMS says:

    Kristin Lancino resigned for personal reasons and is continuing to help the organization with the transition and the search for new leadership. Jimmy Lin’s departure has been long-planned and, in fact, it was announced from stage during Summerfest ’17. LJMS has a strong Board of Directors and staff in place that continues to move the organization forward. We are all excited about the outstanding concert lineup remaining in our current season, moving into our new home in The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in 2019, and announcing our new music director in the near future.

  • Stephen says:

    This is not really much of a shock if you know what’s been going on with LJMS for the past few years.

    The LJMS board have created an impossible situation for the President/Artistic Director of that organization. They want that person to not only run the entire organization, but to also oversee a massive construction project that is over budget and taking far longer than expected. It was supposed to open in 2017, but as the building is only about 20% completed after 2 years, it probably won’t open now until 2019 if they’re lucky. Plus, they are having a problem funding it. That is because…

    There is a lot of infighting with various board members because of this incredibly mis-managed construction project, and also because the former President/AD is still involved and the board seems unable or unwilling to cut ties with him even though it’s sucking all the life out of the organization. Those on the board who were capable have left or been pushed out or punted aside. It’s a toxic, chaotic environment which is why staff have been leaving.

    To find someone willing to take this position two years ago, LJMS had to go through THREE searches. The first two initial searches failed due to candidates (two good ones) pulling out or not accepting the terms of the contract. Then they found a sucker. Poor Kristin. It was probably a very miserable two years for her. The board and Beach are completely responsible for this mess.

    God help the next person who is dumb enough to take that job.