The Oregon Symphony board of directors has selected Isaac Thompson as the symphony’s next president and chief executive, making him the victor in an international search that surveyed over 40 candidates.
“The Oregon Symphony is one of America’s great orchestras, and I am honored to lead the institution forward in this pivotal time,” Thompson stated in a press release. “Portland’s creative energy inspires me.”
“We are thrilled to have Isaac Thompson join the Oregon Symphony as the new president and CEO,” board chair Dan Drinkward said. “Isaac was the clear choice to ensure the Oregon Symphony’s dedication to artistic excellence, pursuit of community engagement, and commitment to financial stability into the future.”
As the symphony’s president and CEO, Thompson will collaborate closely with music director David Danzmayr to support his vision for the orchestra, which is emerging from a turbulent summer season. It’s a role Thompson is well prepared for, having previously served as managing director for the New York Philharmonic.
“Isaac brings both artistic acumen and business expertise to the Oregon Symphony, most recently from his time with the New York Philharmonic,” Drinkward said. “We were impressed with his successes there in forging strong partnerships with diverse communities...as well as his ability to create and nurture relationships with influential stakeholders within the local community, key donors, strategic partners, and other arts organizations.”
Thompson will begin his work as the symphony’s president in October 2023, succeeding current president Scott Showalter (who announced he was stepping down last March).
“I look forward to [working] with the Oregon Symphony’s board, musicians, and staff in defining an innovative and impactful vision for the future,” Thompson said. “I also look forward to engaging with the broader Oregon community, preserving important partnerships, and building new connections that will advance the Symphony’s mission and deepen its impact.”