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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra names Jonathan Martin Incoming President


Martin, who has served as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra President & CEO since 2012, will take the helm of the CSO in September


CINCINNATI – Following an extensive national search, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced today that Jonathan Martin has been appointed President of the CSO effective this coming September. Mr. Martin has served as President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2012, a period which has seen increased artistic achievements, a financial stabilization, robust fundraising, innovative concert formats, genre-crossing programs, and expanded community impact in Dallas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jonathan Martin to Cincinnati,” said CSO Board Chair Francie Hiltz, who also chaired the Search Committee. “Not only is he a highly accomplished executive with proven management success, Jonathan is also a passionate leader in the orchestral music world with a strong focus on artistic excellence. The CSO has the most compelling success story of any American orchestra in recent years and Jonathan possesses the experience and vision to continue the positive momentum and inspire and lead the organization to new heights.”

Mr. Martin succeeds Trey Devey, who led the CSO for eight years before assuming the presidency of the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be joining the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and returning to Ohio,” said Mr. Martin who, prior to leading the Dallas Symphony, served for nine years as the General Manager of the Cleveland Orchestra. There he successfully managed 22 domestic and international tours and residencies, oversaw the operation of the famed Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, and helped develop and launch that orchestra’s groundbreaking, ten-year residency program in Miami, Florida.

“Cincinnati is unique among American orchestras with a strong global presence coupled with a deep commitment to engaging audiences and the broader community,” said Mr. Martin. “I’m excited to be working with CSO Music Director Louis Langrée, Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, the amazing musicians, Orchestra management team and Board, as well as the May Festival leadership. I look forward to discovering and being part of the vibrant Cincinnati community.”

Under Mr. Martin’s leadership, the Dallas Symphony has expanded its new community initiatives such as DSO on the GO, which brings the orchestra to neighborhood venues in communities throughout North Texas; launched ReMix, a series of casual, intimate and adventurous concerts at Dallas City Performance Hall; inaugurated the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, an annual three-week multidisciplinary and multi-genre festival, and deepened collaborations which bring free concerts to areas such as Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas.

Under his stewardship, Mr. Martin has engaged new and long-standing community partners and secured additional funds to create a stable and sustainable financial future for the Dallas Symphony, with $68 million in new funds raised and pledged to date.

In addition to his positions in Dallas and Cleveland, Mr. Martin also led the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2012.

A native of Atlanta, Mr. Martin holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia State University and began his career at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he served in five different positions over 14 years.

He is past Chair of the League of American Orchestras' Executive Directors for Group II orchestras, and currently serves on the committee representing 75 American orchestras negotiating with the national musicians’ union on terms governing electronic media activity.

The Search Process

Prior to the Presidential Search Committee’s first meeting on December 19, members met with the CSO Senior Management Team, artistic leadership, and the Orchestra’s Players Committee respectively to identify top competencies required to lead the organization, and then worked with the search firm Spencer Stuart to create a position profile and undertake the search itself.

In addition to Ms. Hiltz, the Search Committee was comprised of the following CSO Board members and at-large members: Lars Anderson; Katy Barclay; Melanie Chavez representing the May Festival Board; Spencer Liles; Mark Luegering; Rob McDonald; Dianne Rosenberg; Pete Strange; and Sheila Williams.

“We are grateful to the Search Committee members for their tremendous work throughout this extensive process,” said Ms. Hiltz. “This search and its outcome are testaments to Cincinnati’s extraordinary commitment to sustaining and growing a world-class orchestra.”