Victoria, BC, July 7, 2020 – The Victoria Symphony announced today the hiring of Matthew White as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. White will replace outgoing CEO Kathryn Laurin, who has been at the helm of the Victoria Symphony since June 2016.
“We think he’s a tremendous hire,” said Alan Hollingworth, President of the Victoria Symphony Board of Directors. “After searching internationally to find the right candidate to lead this organization, our search committee found him close to home. His positive energy, leadership skills and experience both in the artistic and administrative side of non-profit arts organizations make him the ideal person to take the VS to the next level.”
Matthew White spent his early career as an international vocal soloist; a countertenor performing with opera companies and symphonies around the world. He then became an administrator and driver of classical music in the Lower Mainland providing strategic oversight and direction as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Early Music Vancouver (EMV). Since 2012, Matthew has played a central part in more than doubling EMV’s budget and administrative capacity as well as in dramatically growing EMV’s audience. EMV now offers one of the most ambitious programs of its type in North America, presenting and producing between 40-50 concerts per year featuring internationally renowned local, regional and guest artists. Other highlights of his administrative career include establishing the Vancouver Bach Festival and the Pacific Baroque Series in Victoria.
Known for his strength in artistic programming, audience development, community leadership and collaboration, White steps into the position as the Victoria Symphony (and other symphonies throughout North America) face the new reality of COVID 19 with limits on the size of public gatherings and a mandate of social distancing. It’s a challenge he is looking forward to tackling.
“We are lucky to have an orchestra of this quality in our city,” said White, “and after hearing more about the artistic vision and learning about the inner workings of this organization, I’m thrilled to be a part of such a pillar of the arts and culture sector in Victoria. Although continuing to navigate this pandemic will be a challenge, it’s an opportunity to focus on the organization’s core strengths and to imagine new and exciting ways to pursue our mission within these new constraints. I look forward to supporting Maestro Kluxen and the musicians of the orchestra over the coming months and am confident that we will find innovative ways to keep our patrons engaged and our musicians busy until we are in a position to be back in the concert hall.”
Matthew White will step into the role on October 1, 2020.