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Oregon Symphony Names New President and CEO

Isaac Thompson will leave his position as Managing Director of the New York Philharmonic to step into the role


The Oregon Symphony has recently named Isaac Thompson as its new President and CEO, following an extensive global search that considered more than 40 candidates. Thompson comes to the role from a position as the Managing Director of the New York Philharmonic.

During his tenure in New York, Thompson was in charge of both the artistic and business elements of the orchestra's work, and was also executive lead for the orchestra's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. He undertook much of the planning for the orchestra's return to David Geffen Hall and served on the search committee that appointed Gustavo Dudamel as the orchestra's Music Director.

Thompson will begin his time in Oregon in October 2023. He succeeds Scott Showalter, who will transition into a new role as the Executive Advisor to the President and Board.

"We are thrilled to have Isaac Thompson join the Oregon Symphony as the new President and CEO," said Dan Drinkward, Chair of the Board. "Isaac was the clear choice to ensure the Oregon Symphony’s dedication to artistic excellence, pursuit of community engagement, and commitment to financial stability into the future."

"Isaac brings both artistic acumen and business expertise to the Oregon Symphony, most recently from his time with the New York Philharmonic. We were impressed with his successes there in forging strong partnerships with diverse communities through innovative programming that was inspired by and reflected a variety of cultures, as well as his ability to create and nurture relationships with influential stakeholders within the local community, key donors, strategic partners, and other arts organizations."

"The Oregon Symphony is one of America’s great orchestras, and I am honored to lead the institution forward in this pivotal time," Thompson said. "Portland’s creative energy inspires me. I look forward to infusing that creativity into my collaboration with Music Director David Danzmayr along with the Oregon Symphony’s Board, musicians, and staff in defining an innovative and impactful vision for the future."

"I also look forward to engaging with the broader Oregon community, preserving important partnerships, and building new connections that will advance the Symphony’s mission and deepen its impact."

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