The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces the appointment of Peter T. Kjome as President and CEO. Kjome currently serves as the President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) and will assume his new duties on February 1, 2017.
“Peter is exactly the candidate we sought: a proven business leader who, as a classically trained musician, shares our commitment to artistic excellence,” said Hilary Miller, chairman of the search committee and vice chairman of the board of directors. “He is a best-of-both-worlds executive who fits with our needs in this dynamic, challenging arts environment.”
Acting president and CEO Barbara Bozzuto will continue her work as board chair. “There’s not a major orchestra in America today that doesn’t need to manage strong economic headwinds—a challenge compounded by the imperative of remaining faithful to an artistic vision,” said Bozzuto. “In Peter, we have someone who has a track record of doing both.”
“It is a privilege to have been selected to serve as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s next president,” said Kjome. “The BSO is an extraordinary orchestra of international stature, with a remarkably strong connection to the Maryland community. I look forward to working with Music Director Marin Alsop, the board of directors, musicians, staff, volunteers and the entire BSO family as we begin the orchestra’s second century.”
Kjome (pronounced ”Cho-mee”) leaves an orchestra with an impressive list of accomplishments. In addition to mounting a successful $40 million endowment campaign, the GRS reached several multi-year collective bargaining agreements with its musicians, including a five-year agreement signed in 2016. Under his leadership, the orchestra also selected Marcelo Lehninger as its 14th Music Director orchestra in 2016, while developing and implementing strategic plans that enhanced its economic foundation.
“The BSO is a great orchestra and it deserves great leadership. I look forward to collaborating with Peter Kjome—a musician himself with a deep appreciation for live symphonic music who is also a Kellogg School of Management-educated business leader,” said Alsop. “In this economy, any orchestra, particularly a great orchestra, demands savvy leadership.”
Prior to his BSO appointment, Kjome served as president and CEO of the second-largest performing arts organization in Michigan. He began his tenure with GRS in 2008. Kjome brought strong management and financial skills to the GRS, developed during his time at 3M Company, a leading global company based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to that, Kjome performed as an oboist with GRS for eight years, building on a career that included performing as a substitute musician with the Cleveland Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony.
“I greatly appreciate the work of the search committee and am especially grateful to search committee chair Hilary Miller and board chair Barbara Bozzuto for their commitment and the discussions we have had,” said Kjome. “It will be an honor to build on the important achievements of my predecessor Paul Meecham as we refine our strategic objectives, strengthen our financial position, and build our family of audience members and donors.”
Greg Mulligan, chair, BSO players committee, and a member of the search committee, commented, “We welcome Peter Kjome to the BSO family, and we look forward to developing a compelling vision with him for how the BSO can achieve even higher artistry as we begin our second century. Peter’s background as a professional oboist will ensure that he comes to Baltimore with the experience and knowledge of our wonderful art form and of musicians’ needs, to help us present world class music to our loyal community of music lovers.”
Kjome received his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. At Kellogg, he majored in marketing and management and strategy, receiving the Maurice L. Rothschild Scholarship in recognition of his academic achievement and commitment to social enterprise. Active both personally and professionally, Peter Kjome is a past chair of the Group 2 orchestras of the League of American Orchestras. In 2011, the League of American Orchestras presented Kjome with the Helen M. Thompson award for exceptional leadership.
Kjome was chosen by a 13-member search committee, consisting of directors and musicians, from an international pool of highly accomplished candidates.