SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Symphony Board of Directors has unanimously voted to name Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chief Executive Krishna Thiagarajan as its next President & CEO, Leslie Jackson Chihuly Chair. The search committee, co-chaired by Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly and Board Chair Designate René Ancinas and comprised of members of the board, staff and orchestra, recommended Thiagarajan after a five-month international search for the organization’s next leader. Thiagarajan has previously held executive positions in the U.S. with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Symphony in C. Thiagarajan will begin his new post on September 1, 2018.
“We’re thrilled to bring Krishna Thiagarajan to the Pacific Northwest as the next President & CEO of the Seattle Symphony,” commented Chihuly. “In Krishna we have found a thoughtful and visionary leader who is strongly aligned with our values and aspirations. His depth of musical knowledge and business acumen combined with a deep understanding of the nuances of our industry make him an excellent choice as we keep pushing forward on our mission to unleash the power of music, bring people together and lift the human spirit.”
Thiagarajan’s track record in his past three leadership positions encompasses strong financial management including balanced budgets and significant growth in both ticket sales and donations. He has also produced numerous acclaimed recordings and several international tours, as well as commissioned new works and created meaningful education programs for students. His past leadership has included strong community and corporate relationships, and a personal emphasis on creating an inclusive organizational culture.
“We’re very excited to welcome Krishna into our Seattle Symphony family,” added Music Director Ludovic Morlot. “His passion for our mission is very evident, and I find in him a strong partner with the ability and vision to move our goals forward.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the Seattle Symphony at this exciting time in the orchestra’s history,” shared Thiagarajan. “I look forward to inviting all of Seattle to join us in celebrating Ludovic’s many artistic contributions during his culminating year as Music Director next season, as well as welcoming Thomas Dausgaard in his new role of Music Director in 2019–2020. I believe the Seattle Symphony to be among the most innovative orchestras in the United States, having delivered an impressive track record of growth, artistic excellence and strong community presence. In collaboration with this outstanding group of musicians, staff and board, as well as dedicated supporters, I look forward to serving the community of the greater Seattle area as the orchestra becomes an even more prominent cultural ambassador for the Pacific Northwest.”
“Krishna has a wonderful positive energy and ability to inspire others,” added Ancinas. “As incoming Board Chair next season, I am thrilled to have such a partner in creating the next strategic vision for the organization. Leslie and I would like to thank the search committee as well as our Music Director, Ludovic Morlot, and our Music Director Designate, Thomas Dausgaard, for their thoughtful input throughout our search process.”
Thiagarajan replaces former President & CEO Simon Woods who became the CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January after seven years of exemplary leadership in Seattle.