March 15, 2022

Madison Symphony Orchestra Announces New Executive Director Robert A. Reed

Madison, Wis. 
–​ Madison Symphony Orchestra, Inc. (MSO) announced today that Robert A. Reed has been hired as its new Executive Director. Mr. Reed starts working on site in Madison for periods of time in May, and begins his role as Executive Director full time starting on June 6, 2022.

“Madison Symphony Orchestra’s selection of Robert A. Reed is the result of a nine-month, nation-wide search conducted by a diverse search committee with the assistance of the search firm HC Smith, Ltd.,” MSO Board President Ellsworth Brown said. “From a field of four candidates, two were interviewed in depth twice, visited Madison, and provided references that were checked by the committee members. We are extremely pleased with the results and eagerly anticipate Robert’s leadership and extensive experience engaging communities.”

“I am overjoyed to become the Executive Director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra,” Robert A. Reed, MSO’s new Executive Director states. “I look forward to building upon MSO’s years of excellent leadership and its outstanding legacy — leading the organization forward to its 100th Anniversary Season and beyond. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen relationships and expand MSO’s connections in the community. With an excellent base of Symphony musicians, Board, staff and volunteers, there will certainly be some exciting times ahead.”

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Robert A. Reed to the MSO family. His enormously experienced background and his immediate connection with everyone who was a part of the search process bodes well for an exciting next stage for the orchestra,” Music Director John DeMain expresses. “I look forward to our work together, as we carve out the pathway to our future.”

“I’m excited to work with Mr. Reed to continue to expand our unique organ program and showcase our ‘Mighty Klais,’ which is a gem in Madison,” MSO Principal Organist and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ, Greg Zelek, shares.

Robert A. Reed comes to the MSO with over 32 years of orchestra and cultural arts management in a variety of roles, most recently, with the Plano Symphony Orchestra, in Plano, Texas. Experience includes successful fundraising and capital campaigns, long range strategy and artistic planning, labor relations, and extensive work building consensus and community engagement.

An Interim Co-Leadership approach was applied to the management of the Madison Symphony Orchestra throughout the executive director search process, since Rick Mackie’s retirement in June 2021. The four directors of the Symphony, General Manager Ann Bowen, Director of Development Casey Oelkers, Director of Marketing Peter Rodgers, and Director of Education and Community Engagement Kathryn Schwarzmann, are the Co-Leadership team for the MSO until the new executive director assumes the role.

The Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 97th season in 2022–2023. The MSO has grown to be one of America’s leading regional orchestras, providing Madison and south-central Wisconsin with cultural and educational opportunities to interact with great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. 2023-2024 is Music Director John DeMain’s 30th anniversary season. The MSO’s 100th anniversary season celebration will take place during the 2025-2026 season.

Peter Rodgers, Director of Marketing
Phone: (608) 260-8680 x226
Mobile: (415) 713-0235
Email: prodgers@madisonsymphony.org


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Photo: Peter Rodgers


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