Baltimore Symphony Gets A New Board Chair

Adaptistration People 062In the wake of the acrimonious labor dispute that led to a summer-season killing work stoppage, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announced that the board chair who led the group through that stakeholder fight is stepping down.

While it isn’t unusual to see key leaders depart after the end of a bitter labor dispute, the BSO is asserting the change in leadership is nothing more than coincidental timing. The outgoing chair, Barbara Bozzuto, reportedly ended a five-year tenure and the board elected to name her chairwoman laureate at its most recent meeting.

The 9/26/2019 edition of the Baltimore Sun reports she will also continue as co-chair of asn ongoing BSO endowment capitalization campaign.

The BSO board elected Barry F. Rosen as the new board chair, a board member who was reportedly instrumental in getting the new one-year deal done. According to the Sun article, he is also the musicians’ preference to be the new BSO board leader.

Brian Prechtl, co-chairman of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians Players Committee, said that Rosen possesses a key trait common to effective leaders.

“Barry has shown an interest in welcoming the musicians and other constituents into the decision-making processes of the BSO,” Prechtl said. “The musicians hope for a new era of cooperation.”

We’re still waiting for more information on the one-year deal before we can take a deeper dive into details. Hopefully, that information will be made available sooner than later.

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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