CSO begins search for Deborah Rutter’s successor

SHARE CSO begins search for Deborah Rutter’s successor

By Andrew Patner

For Sun-Times Media

In keeping with the smooth efficiency that has marked Deborah F. Rutter’s decade at the helm of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, the search for her successor has started in earnest just weeks after her appointment to be the next president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., was announced in December.

A committee made up of CSOA trustees, senior staff members and two orchestra musicians recently was appointed by board chairman Jay Henderson, according to sources close to the process, and was to have its first meeting as early as today. Henderson, a vice chair of accounting giant PricewaterhouseCooper LLP, heads the committee. He asked all involved to keep all matters — including the committee membership — confidential at this stage of the search.

Celeste Wroblewski, CSOA vice president for public relations, said in a statement only that “the process for [the search] is proceeding as planned” and that the association, Henderson and Rutter “have nothing further to announce at this time.

“We will alert our constituents, including the media, when we we do,” her statement said.

The CSOA also has retained the arts and culture division of the international executive search firm Spencer Stuart to work with the committee, additional sources confirmed. The firm already started interviewing potential candidates.

Rutter remains in charge of both day-to-day operations at the CSO and planning activities outside of the search through the end of the season and fiscal year, June 30. She takes up her post at the Kennedy Center Sept. 1.

Rutter and the orchestra just returned from a six-concert, four-city tour of the Canary Islands, Spain; Essen, Germany, and Luxembourg with music director Riccardo Muti. The CSO and Muti garnered sold-out houses, cheering crowds and rave reviews at all stops. Muti returns to Chicago next week for a two-week residency with the orchestra focused on the music of Schubert.

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