On Tuesday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced that Allison Vulgamore (center in photo), president and CEO since 1993, has elected not to renew her contract, which runs through July 2010. In her announcement to the orchestra’s Board of Directors on Monday, Vulgamore said, “This was an extraordinarily difficult decision for me. I have a deep and abiding affection and respect for my colleagues both on-stage and off. We have created great musical and institutional accomplishments together. This is a personal decision, after 16 years, to launch a new chapter of my life.” ASO Board Chairman Ben Johnson commented, “The Board of the Atlanta Symphony has a sense of profound regret and respect as it acknowledges Allison’s decision not to renew her contract as President and CEO at the end of the current season. This is a decision that we have unsuccessfully sought to have her reconsider. In 16 years of remarkable leadership, Allison has played a pivotal role in building the Atlanta Symphony into one of America’s preeminent orchestras and the premier cultural institution in the Southeastern United States.” During Vulgamore’s tenure, the orchestra doubled its endowment; increased its budget from $15.8 to $45.6 million; established the Creative Partnership in 2001, bringing Music Director Robert Spano (left in photo) and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles (right) to the organization; greatly expanded its education programs for black and Latino student-musicians; and opened the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta in 2008, greatly expanding its reach in the community. Board Chairman Johnson said that in the weeks ahead, a search committee will be established to identify Vulgamore’s successor.

Photo credit: J.D. Scott

Posted September 22, 2009