National Symphony Orchestra hires a new executive director

Mon Jun 05, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Gary Ginstling has been named executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Tod Martens

The National Symphony Orchestra has a new leader.

The Kennedy Center announced Monday that Gary Ginstling will become executive director of the NSO, effective next month. The post has been vacant since Rita Shapiro resigned last December after 16 years.

Ginstling, 51, comes to Washington from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra where he served as chief executive officer since 2013.

“I am honored to be joining the NSO as it begins a new chapter in its history,” said Ginstling, in a statement released by the NSO. “With Gianandrea Noseda poised to begin as Music Director, a passionate Board led by Jeanne Ruesch, talented and committed musicians, and Deborah Rutter’s leadership of the Kennedy Center, I could not be more excited about the NSO’s future and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Previous to his Indiana position, Ginstling was general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2008–2013, served as director of communication and external affairs at the San Francisco Symphony from 2006–2008; and was executive director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 2003–2006.

The ISO had balanced budgets in three of the last four years, and during his time with the Indianapolis Symphony, the orchestra’s overall earned income rose 44% and contributed income 40%. Ginstling also was responsible for the launch of a variety of new initiatives, including a casual lunchtime series.

“Gary is so highly regarded in the orchestra field,” said Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center president in a statement. “He has earned the respect of musicians, orchestra managers, and Board members from across this industry and I have had the good fortune to know him for many years.

“We are so pleased to welcome him to the Kennedy Center family. I have no doubt that Gary—together with Maestro Noseda, the NSO Board, staff, and musicians—will lead the NSO into a new era of excellence and engagement.”


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