Executive Director Terell Johnson on making an impact, championing many voices at Chicago Philharmonic

Posted on: January 31, 2022

“Terell Johnson was appointed executive director of the Chicago Philharmonic just a little more than seven months ago,” writes Kyle MacMillan in Thursday’s (1/27) Chicago Sun-Times. “Scott Speck, the Philharmonic’s artistic director and principal conductor, said he has already made a strong impact in his new position. ‘He’s forward-looking … and he’s really open to challenging assumptions about the organization,’ …Speck said…. Johnson said he … wants to … ‘program great works by many voices, especially voices that haven’t always been heard.’… Johnson, 36, [holds] bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clarinet performance [and previously was the New World Symphony’s] director of business development and community engagement and headed the orchestra’s equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging committee…. He also believes that the Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence program, which began in 2021 before his arrival, can play a major role [as] a ‘launch pad for great talent.’ One of the … participants in the three-year program, Reinaldo Moya, an assistant professor of composition at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, will have a work premiered during the Philharmonic’s March 27 concert [alongside] Jennifer Higdon’s … Mandolin Concerto…. Speck said he enjoys working with Johnson…. ‘We have a lot of fun bouncing ideas off each other,’ he said.”