10 December 2013
Deborah F. Rutter, Chicago Symphony Orchestra President, Named as Next President of the Kennedy Center
Deborah F. Rutter, currently the president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has been named as the next president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and will assume her post in Washington, D.C., on September 1, 2014.
Rutter, 57, will be just the third president and the first woman to run the Kennedy Center in the organization's thirty-two-year history. She succeeds Michael Kaiser, who on August 31, 2014 will depart the Kennedy Center after a thirteen-year tenure to lead the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Rutter was selected as the Kennedy Center's next chief eleven months after the organization formed a search committee to look for Kaiser's successor.
"The Kennedy Center is fortunate to have found in Deborah an individual with an undeniable passion for and knowledge of the performing arts; a long, well-respected track record of managing and enhancing performing arts organizations; and a commitment to making the performing arts accessible and appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds," said David M. Rubenstein, chairman of the Kennedy Center. "I applaud Michael Kaiser for his thirteen years of leadership and look forward to watching Deborah bring her unique experiences and interests to this position."
Rutter's time at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has established her as one of the most influential arts administrators in the nation, with the CSO having witnessed record-breaking fundraising and ticket sales during her presidency. In addition, she has spearheaded the CSO's production of simulcast and internet-streaming efforts — including a performance of Verdi's Requiem seen by more than 100,000 people — and created innovative educational initiatives and training programs. During Rutter's tenure with the CSO, conductor Riccardo Muti was recruited as the orchestra's music director while cellist Yo-Yo Ma was engaged as the organization's creative consultant. Likewise, the orchestra also produced the concert series "Beyond the Score," which brings together theater, music and visual elements to draw audiences into concert halls and into the spirit of a work. (The series was subsequently licensed by the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as other orchestras across the U.S. and abroad.) In 2008, the CSO established the Institute for Learning, Access, and Training, which oversees the orchestra's expansive education and community programming efforts. In 2012, Rutter shepherded the CSO through a strike by the orchestral players.
As president of the Kennedy Center, Rutter will oversee both the artistic and administrative elements of the Washington, D.C. performing arts complex, which has an operating budget of nearly $190 million, and is the busiest performing arts facility in the nation, hosting nearly 2,000 performances for audiences and visitors of nearly three million people each year. She will manage all facets of the center's involvement in its theater, contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music and jazz constituents, as well as those of its affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera.