And Then This Happened

It looks like the Cleveland Orchestra has found a replacement for outgoing executive director Gary Hanson and it’s the former New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) and Melbourne Symphony exec André Gremillet.

Adaptistration People 087According to a press statement from the orchestra, Gremillet is credited with “successfully enhance[ing] the fiscal health” of the NJSO although that phrasing may come as a surprise to many in that institution. According to an 8/3/2015 article in The Plain Dealer by Zachary Lewis, Gremillet lists an accomplishment of a $35 million capital campaign project during his time with the NJSO, however, that was the same time the orchestra reportedly sold its beleaguered collection of rare string instruments for $20 million (a figure, itself, more than $15 million below what the NSJO valued the collection).

Consequently, it is unclear whether the proceeds from that sale are part of the $35 million fundraising figure.

The Cleveland Orchestra plans to implement a phased transition from Hanson to Gremillet beginning in October, 2015.

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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