Catherine French on executive recruitment in the arts

Posted on: June 6, 2017

“When a major opera company, orchestra, or presenter has an important position to fill, more often than not, one of the first places they turn is to the Catherine French Group,” writes John Fleming in Monday’s (6/5) “Based in Washington, D.C., it was founded in 1998 after French, fresh off 16 years as CEO of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras), was asked to help an orchestra find a new executive director.… CFH is a boutique operation, mainly consisting of French and Managing Director Christopher Wingert, who joined in 2005. CFG’s client list is up to about 300, including National Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School, Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and the University of Chicago Presents. Recent placements include Gary Ginstling, executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra; Edward Yim, president of the American Composers Orchestra … Anna Kuwabara, executive director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra … and Aram Demirjian, music director of the Knoxville Symphony.” In the interview, French and Wingert discuss the qualities musical organizations seek in a CEO, recent changes in the arts leadership talent pool, and the differences between search committees at orchestras, opera companies, and presenters.

Posted June 6, 2017