McGrath replaces Susan Lim, who left in November. He will take up his new post on March 20; his responsibilities will include the negotiation of musicians' contracts, production, and artistic planning.
A member of the Louisville Orchestra staff since June 2004, McGrath has also worked for Chicago's Music of the Baroque and the Boston Symphony. He was trained as a bassoonist at the New England Conservatory.
McGrath leaves the Louisville Orchestra as it faces a crisis: In January, management cut short contract negotiations and announced that the orchestra would consider declaring bankruptcy and shutting down. Talks have since resumed with the help of a mediator.