A Response From Louisville

Following yesterday’s article about administrative departures at the Louisville Orchestra, LO clarinetist and committee chair, Tim Zavadil, sent in the following response…

I would like to add some clarity to your article about Ari leaving. At the departure of Scott Provancher, the LO did hire Brad Broeker as Interim Managing Director. Brad is the retired Executive Director of the Broadway Series in Louisville, so he has donor knowledge, arts knowledge (though not orchestral), and has a good business background. He is working for us, at the latest, until December, and he is donating his salary back to the LO.

What I can say about him is that he is a “big ideas” guy, and that is just what we need now. In fact, I would say that his ideas are “bigger” than the contract changes that we’ve just agreed to–we’ve had to grant variances so some of his ideas can be done. We believe these are the kind of revenue generating ideas that we’ve been craving. These include turning our opening Gala into a two night festival (one with Ithzak Perlman), as well as doing the Lord of the Rings Symphony that is making is way around the circuit. There are other “smaller” changes he is suggesting to create more excitement, but I won’t bore you with those! Suffice it to say, it is a welcome change, and I did want to make sure you, and your readers, were aware of it!

Tim Zavadil

Many thanks to Tim for contributing to the discussion. Likewise, it’s good to hear that there is a long-term interim manager at Louisville that apparently subscribes to the mantra that you don’t cut your way to greatness.

As such, my recommendations from yesterday’s article could stand some revising: instead of paying for an interim executive, perhaps the American Symphony Orchestra League should waive the Louisville Orchestra’s annual dues for the upcoming season. According to the League’s dues formula, that should save the Louisville Orchestra approximately $7,230.00.

Based on the issues defined yesterday, that still seems fair to me.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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