Baltimore Symphony Orchestra President Resigns

Classic Arts News   Baltimore Symphony Orchestra President Resigns
James Glicker, president and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, resigned yesterday after an 18-month tenure, the company announced.

Effective immediately, board member W. Gar Richlin, an attorney and principal of a management advisory firm, will act as interim replacement for Glicker for a year, while the board looks for a new president.

In a statement, Glicker said, "I'm proud of the progress we've made at the BSO and feel the timing is right for me to move on to other interests. I accepted this position with a goal of making the BSO more accessible to the citizens of Maryland, and we've accomplished a great deal toward this end."

Glicker became president and CEO of the BSO in June 2004. He had no previous orchestral experience, but had spent five months as the company's chief marketing officer. As president, he played a major part in the launch of the Music Center at Strathmore, the BSO's part-time home outside Washington; the introduction of the Soulful Symphony program, aimed at African-Americans; and, most controversially, in appointing Marin Alsop the BSO's next conductor.

Alsop's appointment last July received widespread attention both because she will be the first woman conductor to lead a major American orchestra, and because the orchestra players rebelled against her. Alsop's concerts earlier this month with the Baltimore Symphony were a public and critical success; and her relationship with musicians is reported to have improved significantly.

However, according to the Washington Post, much of the players' initial resentment over the appointment was directed towards Glicker, leading to speculation yesterday that his resignation was not entirely voluntary.

In a statement, Glicker said, "It really was my decision to go. It was a question of timing and how long I wanted to stay. I felt I got a lot done, turning around the orchestra's earned income, finding a new music director, increasing community involvement with the BSO."

The Baltimore Symphony faces continuing deficits; according to the Baltimore Sun, accumulated debt is expected to reach at least $12 million when the final audit of the 2004-05 fiscal year is finished.

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