Chicago Sinfonietta taps Blake-Anthony Johnson as its next CEO

Posted on: May 8, 2020

“Blake-Anthony Johnson has been appointed chief executive officer of the Chicago Sinfonietta effective June 1,” writes Howard Reich in Thursday’s (5/7) Chicago Tribune. “He’ll take a position held since 2004 by Jim Hirsch, who will step down on July 1. Hirsch announced his plans last July. Johnson, most recently the Louisville Orchestra’s director of learning and community, previously has worked with the New World Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and other organizations. An alumnus of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, Cleveland State University and the Manhattan School of Music, Blair is a professional cellist…. ‘The vision of (Sinfonietta founder) maestro Paul Freeman has created an incredible organization that has been unmatched in the representation and celebration of equity, diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way. It is a legacy and tradition that I’m honored to continue with our amazing musicians, staff, board and music director Mei-Ann Chen,’ said Johnson, 29, in a statement.… The Sinfonietta gave its first concert on Oct. 11, 1987. In 2016 it received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions…. ‘I am delighted to pass the baton to Blake-Anthony, as his extensive experience with various orchestral institutions will help continue pushing Chicago Sinfonietta’s mission forward,’ said Hirsch.”