The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Owens will leave his position on September 30, following the opening weekends of the 2015-16 Philharmonic season this fall. Owens, who has been in his positions since 2007, will continue as a consultant to RPO for the remainder of 2015.
“It has been an honor to serve as President of this world-class Orchestra for most of the past decade,” Owens said. “Our conductors and musicians are extraordinary, and our board, volunteers, patrons, donors and staff are remarkable. I am proud to have accomplished so much together with them over the years. Now that our artistic transition is complete and the visionary Ward Stare is our new Music Director, the time is right for the Orchestra’s next leadership change.”
Under Owens' leadership, the RPO was able to feature a roster of prominent guest musicians, including Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Audra McDonald, and Video Games Live. Alongside guest artists, the RPO experienced record-breaking ticket sales throughout the 2014-15 season, as well as a return to Carnegie Hall in 2014, the first time in three decades.
“The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been so fortunate to have Charlie’s leadership,” said Dawn Lipson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “He is deeply dedicated to the Orchestra, to our community, and to ensuring a stronger future for the arts. We are saddened by his decision to leave the RPO, but we’re grateful that he has helped to build such a strong foundation for our next President and CEO.”
A national search for Owens' replacement will begin immediately.
Pianist Yuja Wang on Thursday and Saturday broke into Bartok and helped the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra reach new heights.