Toronto Symphony executive director to depart

Posted on: July 31, 2013

In Wednesday’s (7/31) Toronto Star, Martin Knelman reports, “Even the wording of last week’s announcement from Toronto Symphony Orchestra board chair George Lewis was startling. ‘With the greatest reluctance I have accepted Andrew’s decision to retire later this year,’ was how he put it. That’s Andrew Shaw, the president and CEO of the orchestra for the past decade.… Shaw is the guy who is largely credited with saving the TSO from disaster after its near-death crisis in 2001 … ‘I originally planned to stay for 10 years, and I’ve stretched that to almost 12,’ Shaw told me during a phone chat, sounding calm and downright jovial.… Shaw, 62, is married to [Toronto Symphony] cellist Shauna Ralston.… It was Shaw who presided over the resurgence of the TSO, putting a strong team in place, finding new ways to fill the seats and raise the spirits of both audiences and musicians, while bringing in enough revenue to cover costs and at the same time minimizing the pain of a deficit left over from the bad old days. But the past few years have been more stressful than his early seasons at the TSO, because of the economic downturn. Last fall, after celebrating its 90th anniversary, the orchestra posted a deficit of almost $1 million on a $25-million budget.… Still, the resurgence of the TSO during Andrew Shaw’s time has been one of Canada’s cultural miracles.”

Posted July 31, 2013