Philly hires a new CEO

It’s official:

Allison B. Vulgamore, president of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1993, will take over the Philadelphia ensemble at a time when it has been badly shaken by financial turmoil. She is expected to start work as president and CEO no later than Feb. 1.

“I think that we have found a leader who is as smart as can be, and who is deeply and successfully experienced in leading an orchestra,” said new board chairman Richard B. Worley. “I think she’s creative, and she has pizzazz.”

Her contract, which will run for two years, is not signed, though Worley said he had a “clear and firm understanding” with Vulgamore. He declined to specify her salary, though he said it was in line with industry standards. She earned $597,669 at the Atlanta Symphony, a smaller and less prestigious orchestra, for the nine months ending May 31, 2008, according to forms filed with the IRS.

Vulgamore – who is meeting with orchestra musicians, board and other arts leaders this week – arrives at a time of severe crisis for the 109-year-old organization. It is running a series of large deficits, has spent almost all of its unrestricted endowment, and has functioned for several months without a permanent president, board chairman and music director.

About the author

Robert Levine
Robert Levine

Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong.

He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. He has also been featured on American Public Radio's nationally broadcast show "St. Paul Sunday Morning" on several occasions.

Mr. Levine has been an active chamber musician, having performed at the Festival Rolandseck in Germany, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Colorado, and numerous concerts in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. He has also been active in the field of new music, having commissioned and premiered works for viola and orchestra from Minnesota composers Janika Vandervelde and Libby Larsen.

Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras. He has written extensively about issues concerning orchestra musicians for publications of ICSOM, the AFM, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the League of American Orchestras.

Mr. Levine attended Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. His primary teachers were Aaron Sten and Pamela Goldsmith. He also studied with Paul Doctor, Walter Trampler, Bruno Giuranna, and David Abel.

He lives with his wife Emily and his son Sam in Glendale.

Leave a Reply