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  • LAPA
  • LA Phil Names New CEO
  • Nov. 16, 2017
    OF THE 

    Los Angeles, November 16, 2017 – Los Angeles Philharmonic Board Chair Jay Rasulo announced today, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, that Simon Woods has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair, of the Association, to begin on January 22, 2018.

    Woods has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra since May 2011. At the LA Phil he succeeds Deborah Borda, President and CEO, who led the organization through 17 years of transformation. Gail Samuel, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of the LA Phil since March 2017, will resume her position as Executive Director for the Association upon Simon Woods’ formal arrival in January 2018. 

    “Simon comes to the Los Angeles Philharmonic with an impeccable reputation in the orchestral world,” Rasulo said. “He has a proven record of innovative and collaborative leadership, a deep knowledge of and commitment to music, and a passion for music education and social action. He has been instrumental in establishing the Seattle Symphony as a dynamic, forward-looking and community-focused organization, re-positioning the orchestra as one with artistic, financial and reputational success. He is a great choice for the future of the LA Phil. I would like to thank the search committee for its work and Gail Samuel for her wonderful leadership during this process. We look forward to welcoming Simon to the LA Phil family.” 

    “Simon has a wonderful reputation, a great knowledge of music, a passion for music education, and understands the intricacies of an organization as complex and unique as the LA Phil. I am very much looking forward to working with him as we head into our second century,” said Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the LA Phil. 

    “It is the very greatest honor to have been chosen for this position,” said Simon Woods. “The Los Angeles Philharmonic demonstrates persuasively and passionately in every aspect of its work what a contemporary and forward-looking orchestra can be in one of the world’s great global cities. The chance to work closely with Gustavo Dudamel, the remarkable musicians, a great board, and the tremendously creative staff team is a completely inspiring prospect. I join the LA Phil with the greatest humility and admiration, and look forward to helping to lead it through the Centennial and into its next century.” 

    Simon Woods joined the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in May 2011. He previously served as Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), one of the United Kingdom’s leading symphony orchestras; as President & CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; and Vice President of Artistic Planning and Operations at The Philadelphia Orchestra. For almost a decade, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, he worked as a record producer with EMI Classics in London, where he initiated and produced recordings with many of the world’s foremost classical artists and ensembles. Born in London, Simon Woods earned a degree in Music from Cambridge University, and a post-graduate diploma in conducting from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is a Board member of Cultural Access Washington and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He was a Board member of the League of American Orchestras and Chair of the Group 1 Orchestra CEO group from 2015 to 2017. He is a long-standing contributor to the League’s professional development programs, including being a core faculty member for Essentials of Orchestra Management in 2016 and 2017.


    About the Los Angeles Philharmonic 

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( ) and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs. In the last decade, the LA Phil made ambitious, forward-looking advances in its artistic and social objectives. The orchestra maintains the most active commissioning program in the country and has garnered international acclaim for its interdisciplinary productions and work with new technologies. In the community, the orchestra has become a valued resource, offering such programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which has become a model for effecting social change through music on a national stage. 

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