Music News & Reviews

SLO Symphony welcomes new executive director

Catherine Lansdowne is the new executive director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.
Catherine Lansdowne is the new executive director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.

A new executive administrator with three years of experience leading a Texas orchestra is set to join the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the nonprofit organization announced Wednesday.

Beginning April 3, Catherine Lansdowne will take over for Francie Levy, the symphony’s interim general manager, who has led the organization since the previous executive director, Edmund Feingold, was fired in 2015.

Lansdowne was one of two finalists considered for the position, but once the selection committee met her, “she was the obvious choice,” Levy said.

A practiced oboist, Lansdowne initially performed professionally before switching over to the administrative side, according to a news release from the symphony. She worked in marketing at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the American Association of Malaysia and the National Philharmonic in Washington, D.C., before joining the Abilene Philharmonic in Texas.

During her three-year tenure as executive director in Abilene, Lansdowne was credited with tackling budgetary issues — she took the organization from multiyear deficits to multiyear profits — and establishing new programming for the symphony, according to a news release.

Lansdowne’s appointment comes in the midst of the symphony’s hunt for a new music director, who will be chosen from five auditioning finalists after the season finale May 6.

Megan Henney: 805-781-7915, @megan_henney

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