Artistic and administrative restructuring at Charleston Symphony due to pandemic

Posted on: March 10, 2021

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Ken Lam in performance. Photo by William Struhs

“Charleston Symphony plans a significant restructuring as it copes with a million-dollar loss in anticipated revenue caused by the pandemic,” writes Maura Hogan in Tuesday’s (3/10) Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). “Chief among the changes is elimination of the music director position. Since 2014, that role has been held by conductor Ken Lam…. Lam’s final season will be 2021-22. The move follows several high-level departure announcements in the Charleston arts scene in the past few months. Among those are Spoleto Festival USA General Director Nigel Redden…. After the symphony’s 2021-22 season, the music director role will be filled partly with guest conductors…. A newly created position of artistic director will be taken by Yuriy Bekker, Charleston Symphony’s concertmaster and principal pops conductor…. The orchestra’s changes include an expanded partnership with the Charleston Gaillard Center, where Charleston Symphony serves as resident orchestra…. The [orchestra will utilize] the Gaillard’s operational structure for support services, including financial services, marketing and ticketing…. According to executive director Michael Smith, the aim is to ensure the organization’s ongoing financial sustainability amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Charleston Symphony had achieved a decade of balanced budgets.”