The League of American Orchestras announced in June that President and CEO Jesse Rosen has extended his contract through September 2020, at which time he will retire from the League. “By September 2020, I will have been at the League for twenty-two years and CEO for twelve,” Rosen said in his remarks to delegates during the League’s 74th National Conference in Nashville. “I’ve had an enormously fulfilling experience, but it’s time to begin thinking about the next chapter. The orchestra community has been a source of deep satisfaction and joy, and I’d like to remain a part of it in some new and different way.” He added, “The League is in very good shape thanks to its strong staff and its wise and engaged board.” Rosen has used his platform as League CEO to advocate passionately before policy-makers, the media, and funders for the relevance and public value of orchestras while challenging League members to authentically engage with their communities. “Jesse uses his keen insights about orchestras’ roles in their communities to anticipate future challenges so we can prepare for them,” stated Douglas M. Hagerman, Chair of the League’s Board of Directors. “He shows us how to ‘see around corners.’” Hagerman and the Board have formed a recruitment and selection committee, which intends to select a new CEO by September 2020.

Rosen joined the League in 1998 as Vice President, Professional and Artistic Services, and was subsequently appointed Chief Program Officer, Executive Vice President and Managing Director in 2006, and President and CEO in 2008. He previously served as General Manager of the Seattle Symphony, Executive Director of the American Composers Orchestra, and Orchestra Manager of the New York Philharmonic. Under Rosen’s leadership, the League has advocated for: orchestras’ deeper engagement with communities; efforts to address equity, diversity, and inclusion; greater discipline in relation to fiscal health; increased use of data to inform decision-making; stronger governance practices; and innovation and experimentation.

Rosen oversaw major field research and publications and launched national initiatives supporting composers, conductors, and instrumentalists, including Ford Made in America, the largest-ever orchestra commissioning consortium; the Music Alive composer residency program; the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service; the Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program; and the American Conducting Fellowship Program. In the past year, Rosen was instrumental in the launch of two new League programs that support orchestras’ efforts to become more inclusive: The Catalyst Fund, a three-year program of annual grants to orchestras that aims to advance their understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to foster effective EDI practices; and the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), a national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras. NAAS is a partnership with the Sphinx Organization and the New World Symphony.