New Leadership for the Louisville Orchestra

by ekramer on May 12, 2009

The Louisville Orchestra will have a change of leadership later this month when Brad Broecker steps down. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Broecker became the organization’s chief executive officer in 2006, just after the orchestra averted bankruptcy, and quickly brought conductor Jorge Mester back to the organization. He then helped eliminate the organization’s debts and launch new artistic programming, while receiving an annual salary of one dollar.

Broaker says the organization is now on solid footing.broeckermesterbirman3

“I think we’re appealing to a broader audience,” Broecker says. “We also have some stability to the leadership now that we have Jorge Mester and Jason Weinberger as the resident conductor. We’ve been able to recruit some pretty terrific players and we have also given a lot of focus to the classical programming.”

His replacement will be Robert Birman, whom Broacker recruited last year as the orchestra’s chief operating officer.

Broecker says the orchestra has already benefited from Birman’s experience managing orchestras in several cities, including San Francisco and Boston.

“He was anxious to take on some of the challenges that aren’t terribly sexy like dealing with fundraising and negotiating labor agreements and all those sorts of things that have to be done. And he’s excited about it,” Broecker says.

Tom Noland is president of the orchestra’s board of directors. He says Birman is a good choice for difficult economic times. He is extremely disciplined when it comes to budgets and is right now in the midst of having necessarily to cut our budget for next year in light of all the various shortfalls that we and other arts groups are experiencing.

Birman takes over the position of CEO on June 1.

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