Thursday, October 6, 2022

Virginia Symphony Orchestra Says Goodbye to President and CEO

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NORFOLK — At the beginning of July, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s (VSO) president and CEO announced that she would be stepping down from her position with the symphony.

Karen Philon, who has served in this position since 2014, announced on July 1 that she would be leaving this fall. In an email message she wrote, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to have led this amazing institution.”

In an official press release, the VSO noted that during her tenure, Philon managed to absolve all of the symphony’s debt during what it describes as an “historic financial turnaround,” with the VSO operating in the black throughout her tenure.

Additionally, Philon was instrumental in recent creative decisions for the symphony, including recruiting conductor Eric Jacobsen as the symphony’s music director. She also recruited Thomas Wilkins to serve as the VSO’s first principal guest conductor.

“[Philon] has elevated the VSO’s stature in the region, guided us through a smooth and successful transition in artistic leaders and set us on a sustainable path,” said VSO Board Chair Mike McClellan.

VSO Chair Emeritus Patrick McDermott added, “We all owe Karen our sincere thanks for her dedication and strategic vision.”

Throughout the next several weeks, the VSO will launch a search for candidates to fill Philon’s position.

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