Incoming BSO president Peter T. Kjome. Photo by Johnny Quirin, Courtesy BSO.
Incoming BSO president Peter T. Kjome. Photo by Johnny Quirin, Courtesy BSO.

Ten months ago, we learned that Baltimore Symphony Orchestra president and CEO Paul Meecham was leaving town for Utah after a decade spent leading the BSO. Today, the orchestra announced that they have found his replacement, plucked from the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan.

Peter T. Kjome is currently the president and CEO of the Michigan ensemble, but will take over Meecham’s old post starting in February. Kjome is a unique fit for the job: He’s a classically trained musician and an experienced leader. His education credentials prove it: He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

According to the BSO, Kjome developed his management and financial skills while working for global manufacturer 3M in St. Paul, Minn. He was also an oboist with the Grand Rapids Symphony before he became its president and CEO in 2008, and he worked as a substitute musician for the Cleveland Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

As president of the Grand Rapids Symphony, Kjome negotiated collective bargaining agreements with the musicians, developed and implemented strategic plans for the ensemble future and led a $40 million endowment campaign, according to the BSO.

In Meecham’s absence, BSO board chair Barbara Buzzuto has served as acting CEO and president. She gave her blessing for their new hire in a statement, saying he will be able to manage “strong economic headwinds” while keeping the symphony on course with its artistic vision.

In a release, Kjome called it “a privilege” to be picked as the Baltimore ensemble’s next president and CEO. Hilary Miller, the BSO board’s vice chairwoman and the leader of their search committee for a new president this year, called him a “best-of-both-worlds executive who fits with our needs in this dynamic, challenging arts environment.”

Kjome starts his new job here in Baltimore on Feb. 1, 2017.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...