In Saturday’s (9/5) Virginian Pilot (Norfolk), Teresa Annas reports, “Following a financially challenging year for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the group’s top manager has quit her post. Carla Johnson, president and executive director since 2004, resigned Friday morning and expected to leave later in the day. … She would not explain her resignation, except to say, ‘It’s been a very difficult year.’ … Blair Wimbush, board chairman, said Friday that Johnson’s departure was ‘not really’ related to the symphony’s money woes. The orchestra was severely cash-strapped late last year and had to borrow $500,000 from the Norfolk Economic Development Authority to make its payroll and other critical expenses. The symphony ended its last fiscal year, on July 31, with a $720,000 deficit. That brings the group’s accumulated debt to around $2 million, Wimbush said. During Johnson’s tenure, her contributions included boosting the educational and outreach programs, Wimbush said. … An interim executive director will be named soon. A committee will be quickly formed to seek her replacement through a national search, Wimbush said.”

Posted September 8, 2009