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Matthew Spivey New Chief Executive Officer of SF Symphony
By:  Iride Aparicio

Photos Courtesy: S.F. Symphony

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-- San Francisco Symphony President Priscilla Geeslin, on behalf of the Board of Governors and Music Director Esa-Peka Salonen, announces  today, September 22, 2022, the appointment of  Matthew Spivey as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Spivey has been interim CEO of the SF Symphony since July 2021 and a member of the Symphony administrative team since 2015. 

The announcement follows an extensive search led by Search Committee Chairs Alan May and Trine Sorensen in cooperation with Russell Reynolds Associates.  The Search Committee included 12 members of the board, staff, and musicians who assessed candidates on a number of key criteria across leadership, fund raising and advocacy, financial management, strategy and culture transformation, relationship building, and people and organizational development.
"Over several months, our committee conducted a global search including a rigorous assessment of a diverse state of strong candidates," said Alan May and Trine Sorensen. "Guided not only the leadership requirements for this position but also the strategic needs of the San Francisco Symphony going forward, the committee recognized Matt as the right choice to lead the Symphony into a new era. Matt's demonstrated commitment to artistic excellence, inclusive leadership, fiscal discipline, and community engagement were among the many factors that made him stand out as the ideal candidate."


"Our committee was impressed by Matt's thoughtful leadership, integrity, strategic mind-set, and incredible work ethic," Said Priscilla Geeslin. "He's also proven a deep personal commitment to furthering the organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion work, making it an integral part of the Symphony's day-to-day activities. It is these invaluable qualities that make him much an incredible partner to me and the board and will help guide the Symphony into a bright future. Matt is the right leader for the San Francisco Symphony at this pivotal moment in our history. I could not be happier with this outcome and look forward to continuing our work together."

"Matt Spivey is in it for the music, it's as simple as that," said Esa-Pekka Salonen. "He is a leader who appreciates the history of our art form and wants to be part of its future. He spends the time to build consensus across the organization because he knows our San Francisco. Symphony is stronger as "us" than as "I." When others react, he pre-acts. It's been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside Matt in many capacities since I started as Music Director, and I know the future with him in this position is bright. Let's get to work."

"The San Francisco symphony is a phenomenally creative institution with an extraordinary history featuring of the finest orchestras in the word," said Matthew Spivey, after working with the organization over the last seven years, I am especially honored and excited to step into this new role to help build the next chapter in partnership with Esa-Pekka and our Collaborative Partners. During my tenure with the San Francisco Symphony, I have been inspired by the Bay Area vibrant cultural landscape, intellectual curiosity, and passion for humanity. This is a place where imagination thrives and artistic potential is limitless."

As Chief Executive Officer, Spivey will lead the San Francisco Symphony in close collaboration with the Board of Governors and Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, supporting the creative vision of Salonen and the organization's eight Collaborative Partners and continuing to broaden the Orchestra's repertoire with voices new to the San Francisco Symphony. Spivey and the San Francisco Symphony will embark on a comprehensive strategic planning process, including a major audience development initiative focused on expanding new audiences through a wide range of concert experiences, and the development of a long-range financial plan aimed at providing greater stability into the future.