About the author

Paul Judy
Paul Judy

Eastman School of Music, Dean’s Medal, 2012

Paul R. Judy

Paul Judy is founder of the Symphony Orchestra Institute and the Orchestra Musician Forum, nonprofit research and educational organizations dedicated to improving the effectiveness of symphony orchestras. He currently serves as chairman of the board of The Chicago Philharmonic Society. The Society is uniquely a musician-governed and -driven community of over 200 professional classical musicians from which can be drawn larger scale symphony orchestras down in size to small chamber music ensembles.

Judy graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1953 and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps before earning his M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School in 1957. He continued at the school for one year as a research assistant, writing cases about banking and securities organizations.

In 1958, Judy joined the investment banking firm of A. G. Becker in Chicago. After working in the firm’s New York office from 1962 to 1965, he returned to Chicago as the firm’s acting chief executive officer. He became president and chief executive in 1967. He left the firm in 1981 to pursue a career as a professional director, serving on the boards of some 15 public and privately owned corporations. During this time he also established the Illinois Independent Higher Education Loan Authority. After 13 years, Judy resigned all corporate boards and in 1994, he launched the Symphony Orchestra Institute.

After 10 years of devoting himself to the development of the Institute, he gave its intellectual property, along with a generous gift, to the Eastman School of Music Institute for Music Leadership to provide an institutional home and allow the goals of the Symphony Orchestra Institute to be expanded. With this gift, Eastman established the Orchestra Musician Forum, which launched polyphonic.org, a website that offers educational and informational services to professional orchestral musicians. Judy has been a member of the Eastman School of Music National Council since 2008.

Active in a range of civic and charitable activities, Judy has served as a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern University, Carnegie Hall Society, the Financial Accounting Foundation, and the Field Foundation of Illinois. In 2002, he received the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League for contributions to the American orchestra world that influence and advance the cause of orchestra and symphonic music throughout the country.

Paul and Mary Ann Judy have four children and seven grandchildren. They make annual migrations between homes in Northfield (Illinois), Naples (Florida), and Nantucket (Massachusetts), the latter being the central family gathering place.

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