Symphony head Early steps down

Big news from the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra this afternoon. Richard Early, who has run the symphony for eleven years, resigned at last night’s board meeting. During his tenure, the symphony has seen big gains in budget size ($4.9 million to $8 million) and endowment ($695,000 to $5.2 million). But it’s also no secret that the symphony has been suffering from deficits and has been challenged to find new audiences, although attendance did rise this past season. Here’s Early’s official statement:

 

Early said, “After 11 years, culminating with our eventful and highly successful 75th Anniversary Season, the time is right for me to pursue new challenges and for the Symphony to identify new executive leadership to help move to the next level of organizational and artistic accomplishment. The Symphony is poised for the future with excellent leadership, commitment, and experience in each department of the administrative staff; outstanding dedication and artistry from our musicians and conductors; and a strong board, whose leadership and generosity ensures that the organization will continue to progress in its service to Charlotte and the region.”

Early will stay on through September 1. But this means that the CSO is now searching for its top two leaders, because conductor Christof Perick earlier announced that he was leaving. Looks like it will be an interesting few months at the CSO. —R.T.

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