Honolulu Symphony, in the Midst of Multiple Resignations, Appoints Gideon Toeplitz Interim President

Classic Arts News   Honolulu Symphony, in the Midst of Multiple Resignations, Appoints Gideon Toeplitz Interim President
Gideon Toeplitz, former managing director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, has been named interim president of the Honolulu Symphony, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reports.

His appointment follows a string of disagreements and resignations over who would succeed orchestra president Steve Bloom, who resigned at the end of April. Vicky Cayetano, CEO of the orchestra has resigned, as have three executive-committee members.

Cayetano, a former Hawaii first lady, resigned her CEO post after disagreements with Carolyn Berry, the orchestra's chair. After Cayetano announced her resignation, she was followed by Mike O'Neill, Michael Fish, and one other committee member.

Berry, a major donor to the orchestra, also offered to resign, but has been discouraged from doing so.

The source of the disagreement is an audit, released earlier this year, of the organization's management. The audit, carried out by consultant Peter Pastreich, was critical of the management and leadership structure.

Although Bloom claimed that his resignation had nothing to do with Pastreich's audit ("There were no recommendations for me personally as far as I know," he said), Cayetano said that the verbal report of Bloom was "critical and very negative."

Among Pastreich's recommendations was the creation of the CEO position that Cayetano holds.

Cayetano later announced that she wanted Pastreich to serve as the orchestra's interim president, and Berry, who was friendly with Bloom, disagreed. The result of the clash was Cayetano's resignation on May 5.

Toeplitz will take the position in late June, when Bloom leaves. A nationwide search for Bloom's permanent replacement is underway.

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