Louisville Begins Patching The Gaps

The 1/28/2013 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal published an article by Elizabeth Kramer that reports the Louisville Orchestra has named David Hyslop to serve as interim chief executive officer. There’s no mention of whether or not Hyslop’s contract is for any specific length of time or whether or not he’ll be performing the bulk of his duties remotely from his home in Minnesota or moving to Louisville to work full time with the organization.

150x150_ITA_Guy097However, an article Erin Keane in the 1/29/2013 edition of WFPL.org reports Hyslop as saying he expects to remain with the organization through approximately August, 2013.

According to a press statement from the orchestra, the organization will conduct a national search for a permanent CEO, however, there were no additional details regarding the search or if the organization will engage an executive search firm.

At the same time, the release does contain an intriguing Mission Accomplished style statement from outgoing board president Chuck Maisch regarding the organization’s financial stability.

“Having successfully addressed the long-standing cost structure issues that challenged the sustainability of the organization, our immediate focus has been to build our board membership and support.” said Maisch

However, according to the Courier-Journal article, the organization has yet to complete the ongoing negotiation process, overseen by Peter Pastreich. If outstanding issues are not resolved by March, Pastreich has the authority as binding arbitrator to implement final contract terms. Consequently, Maisch’s assurances about financial stability may be premature.

There was no statement from the Louisville Orchestra musicians about Hyslop’s appointment. At the time this article was published, the musicians’ Facebook page had not been updated since 1/14/2013 and their website has apparently has apparently been suspended pending domain name renewal or deletion.

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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