Indianapolis Begins Filling In The Holes

On 2/13/2013, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) appointed Gary Ginstling as the organization’s new CEO. Ginstling will begin next month and by that point in time, the ISO will have been without a formal CEO for just over one year, following what some might describe as a less than ceremonious departure by Simon Crookall.

150x150_ITA_Guy131Ginstling is currently the General Manager of the Cleveland Orchestra and prior to that, he served as director of communications and external affairs for the San Francisco Symphony. It was during his time with San Francisco that Ginstling authored a terrific contribution for the 2008 Take A Friend To The Orchestra initiative.

At that point in time, Ginstling was one of the initial folks in the field to begin recognizing the value of reaching out to new media and organized official blogger’s night concert events.

The 2/13/2013 edition of the Indianapolis Star published an article by Shari Rudavsky that provides a good bit of additional detail about the appointment, Ginstling’s history, and where the ISO is right now from an institutional perspective.

In that article, Rudavsky quotes me as saying that the ISO gig is one of the most challenging positions in the business right now; and it is, but I’m glad to see Ginstling move into the position and will be very anxious to see how things begin to unfold after he hits the ground running next month.

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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