Preparing to leave Chicago Symphony, Rutter looks back—and ahead

Posted on: June 25, 2014

“On Monday, one month shy of serving 11 years as president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Deborah F. Rutter will step down from her position to take on another high-profile managerial post, that of president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington D.C.,” writes John von Rhein at the start of an interview with Rutter in Tuesday’s (6/24) Chicago Tribune. “She is leaving in her wake widespread admiration for her strong, hands-on leadership and for balancing the orchestra’s finances, artistic excellence and civic role.… Question: Any assessment of your achievements as CSOA president would have to include your efforts to develop new audiences, form new partnerships in the community … [and] make a 123-year-old institution viable in the early 21st century. What personal beliefs have driven those efforts? Answer: At my core, I believe in this art form, and I believe in the live performance experience. I believe that if you are coming together as a society, as a culture, you have to understand how this art form can live today. Whether the music (was written) last week, 100 years ago or 200 years ago, it is being performed with the heart and soul, the technical capacity, of people who are alive today.”

Posted June 25, 2014

Photo of Deborah Rutter by E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune