Do you need an ExEdi V-P?

Do you need an ExEdi V-P?


norman lebrecht

January 04, 2022

The St Louis Symphony has started the year by appointing a Vice President of External Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Dr Yolanda “Yoli” Alovor ‘brings a wealth of experience in EDI implementation and community partnership development. Most recently, she served as the Chief of Staff and Vice President of Diversity and Belonging at Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she guided complex and confidential management in support of the strategic mission of the college, provided critical insight for campus projects, and led Diversity and Belonging initiatives that helped drive business and administrative functions. In her leadership role, she led grassroots efforts with internal and external collaborators to build the college’s first Diversity and Belonging Department and campus strategic plan. She also launched leadership initiatives to foster belonging and managed internal and external communications.’

Every US orchestra now needs an EDI v-p.


  • Monsoon says:

    Considering that St. Louis is a majority-minority city, and that the orchestra’s patrons are almost entirely white, is it really such a bad idea to try and build bridges to a majority of the city’s residents?

    You keep scoffing at these hires, ignoring how most U.S. cities are majority-minority while orchestra attendance is mostly white.

    Putting aside American liberalism for a minute, it just doesn’t make good business sense for an orchestra to be so disconnected from a majority to the people in its hometown.

    • Fenway says:

      Give free tickets to the minority residents and see how many take advantage of the opportunity.

      • Monsoon says:

        While I know that you’re trolling, orchestras and opera companies have always viewed issues with attendance as a “cost of entry” problem. Whether they’re trying to attract Black and Brown patrons, college students, yuppies, etc., the knee-jerk solution they always go to is discounted or free tickets, or free concerts in the park, which never works (and I argue it actually backfires because it creates a perception that this art-form should be free). There are deeper issues at play with why orchestra attendance in the U.S. is so old and white, and orchestras are finally trying to address them.

  • MacroV says:

    Let the trolling begin. Look, orchestras are constantly under scrutiny for the need to be more relevant to their audience and to seek new audiences; Brahms doesn’t resonate in modern-day St. Louis the same way he did in late-19th century Vienna. I lived in Prague for three years and loved hearing the Czech Philharmonic regularly, but the way they perform and program works in Prague in a way that probably wouldn’t fly in any U.S. city (where among other things they probably wouldn’t stand that big a dose of Martinu and Janacek).

    When Sir Simon took over Berlin, he was told they wanted to be an orchestra of the 21st century; this is just a variation of that.

    • John Borstlap says:

      The problem of relevance is indeed the central hard problem of the symphony orchestra today. But the only way to make the orchestra and its repertoire relevant is through education of the groups who are the target of the process of creating new audiences. Is this the task of the orchestra itself?

      Is it the task of the patient to do self-examination or is a doctor required?

  • Simon says:

    Sort of like the old Soviet Political Officers. They’ll make sure that everyone is using the correct pronouns while the people who actual work try to make music during the cultural revolution.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    What the hell is “confidential management? Is transparency out the window?

  • Fenway says:

    More woke affirmative action garbage.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    One person is not enough to achieve all three goals. There should be at least three hires. With an additonal Vice President of Belonging.

  • Piston1 says:

    — in what is becoming a pattern at American orchestras, an attempted distraction from the fact that the Orchestra’s entire executive staff — Executive Director, Music Director, Assistant Conductor or Principal Guest — consists of white European emigres.