The Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra unite under new parent company

-Courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra & The Kimmel Center

The Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra today announced that the two organizations are joining forces to form a new parent company, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will be led by Matías Tarnopolsky as president and CEO. Uniting from a position of strength, these signature Philadelphia cultural  organizations are poised to bring the greatest performances and most impactful education and community programs, in person and digitally, to audiences in Philadelphia and beyond.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will provide vast opportunities for world- class, wide-ranging performances by a diverse and inclusive roster of artists and companies in an atmosphere where all feel welcome. Furthermore, this innovative structure will strengthen business operations and enable more flexible scheduling and collaborative partnerships across the Philadelphia performing arts community.

Anne Ewers, Kimmel Center president and CEO since 2007, initiated these discussions and  championed this plan. Ewers and Tarnopolsky, Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO, have worked closely together over the last three years and have collaborated to ensure the Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra are positioned to powerfully contribute to Philadelphia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m approaching my 70th birthday,” Ewers said. “And in December 2019, I informed our Kimmel Center Board Chair Michael Zisman that I planned to retire at the end of my current  contract.” Ewers is responsible for the Kimmel Center’s transformation—retiring its debt; raising tens of millions for endowment, capital projects, and programs; and overseeing an ambitious master plan for renovation. Ewers will continue as president and CEO of the Kimmel Center through the formation of the new parent organization. She has been invited to  serve as a member of the board of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., where she will continue to realize her vision of a more streamlined and cohesive  partnership between the Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

“This visionary model creates a centralized artistic hub with a vibrant campus and active venues,” Ewers said. “I am delighted that the Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra are forming this partnership under Matías’ superb leadership. An exemplary performing arts producer and presenter with an extensive range from fine arts to entertainment, our alliance will offer something for everyone.”

“We recognize that deepening our partnership will accelerate change and progress toward a more vibrant, equitable, and engaged artistic environment in Philadelphia,” Tarnopolsky said. “This new organization will write a powerful next chapter in quality, access, and diversity within our storied cultural landscape.”

Tarnopolsky joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in August 2018. During his tenure, Tarnopolsky—working in partnership with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra—helped to secure the largest gift in the Orchestra’s history, launched a visionary free ticket program for the School District of Philadelphia, strengthened the Orchestra’s historic and deep ties with China through new partnerships, and negotiated an extraordinary early contract with the musicians to provide a stable and secure financial future. He has deep experience molding the artistic profiles of

orchestras and cultural centers, and brings extensive experience from key leadership roles at the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to Philadelphia he was executive and artistic director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, the largest multi-disciplinary, multi- venue, university-based arts presenter in the United States.

The finalization of this transaction is subject to obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals. Upon completion, each organization, and their current Boards of Directors, will remain intact as subsidiaries of the parent organization. The Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will be drawn equally from existing boards of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center. Philadelphia Orchestra Board Chair Ralph Muller and Kimmel Center Board Chair Michael Zisman will serve as co-chairs of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.

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