Longtime LA Master Chorale President & CEO Terry Knowles to Step Down at Season's End

Among Numerous Accomplishments, 

Knowles Helped Oversee Choir’s Transition to Disney Hall,
Increased Operating Budget by 80% to $5.4 Million,
Expanded its Season and Institutional Profile Significantly and
Facilitated Vision of Artistic Director Grant Gershon for 15 Seasons


Highly regarded and beloved arts luminary Terry Knowles, longtime President & CEO of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) who has led the organization since 2000 through the most phenomenal growth period in its 50-year history, has announced that she will step down from her current post at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.  LAMC Chairman David Gindler announced that in recognition of Knowles’ superlative contributions to the chorus and the choral arts during her extraordinary 15-year tenure, the Chorale will honor her at its annual gala, whose Honorary Chair on this occasion is composer John Adams, on March 1, 2015, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Knowles is stepping down to resume a consulting career, assisting non-profit organizations to reach their goals through good governance, strategic planning, effective resource development and mediation.  According to Gindler, the Chorale has engaged Arts Consulting Group, the leading provider of executive search and other services for the arts and culture industry, to conduct the national search for her replacement.


 “Under Terry’s exceptional and visionary leadership, the Los Angeles Master Chorale has become one of the world’s preeminent professional choirs, enjoying unsurpassed artistic expansion, remarkable fiscal growth, robust community partnerships and a stellar international reputation,” states Gindler.  “We are extremely grateful to her for the incredible impact she has had on the Chorale as well as on the City of Los Angeles and the choral community at large.  There is no stronger advocate for choral music than Terry, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale has benefited beyond measure from her unwavering support, shrewd management and deeply felt passion.  Through her work, she has touched the lives of so many people, and her legacy will endure long after she steps down.” 


Knowles made a strategic decision to undertake a transition at this time to coincide with the beginning of a new era for the Chorale with the recently announced five-year extension of Artistic Director Grant Gershon’s contract through the 2019-2020 season.  ”The opportunity to partner with Grant in this remarkable journey has been the greatest gift of my professional life,” says Knowles.  “Like so many other people, I have learned a great deal from him, and through his artistry and vision have enjoyed some of the most extraordinary musical experiences one could imagine.  At this critical moment in the organization’s evolution, it will benefit from a new leader who brings a fresh mindset and creativity as the Chorale launches its second half-century.”

“Terry Knowles is one of the true behind-the-scenes heroes in the performing arts today,” says Gershon.  “I certainly don’t know of a better, more happy and productive relationship between an Artistic Director and the President of a performing arts organization than that which I’ve enjoyed with Terry.  She is one of the wisest people that I know, and under her inspired leadership the LA Master Chorale has experienced tremendous and sustained growth in every area.  Terry cares deeply about the music and about our artists, and she has earned the admiration of all who have been touched by this organization.”


During her remarkable tenure with the Chorale, Knowles helped facilitate the choir’s transition to Walt Disney Concert Hall, has increased the Chorale’s operating budget by more than 80% to $5.4 million, in part during one of the worst economic periods in modern times, expanded its season and institutional profile significantly and has worked closely with Artistic Director Grant Gershon, who was appointed Music Director Designate just a few days after Knowles, to help him realize his artistic vision for the past 15 seasons.  She has also overseenambitious commissioning projects and a long-term strategic plan, tours to Europe, New York and the Midwest, the release of six commercial CDs, a recording partnership with Decca Classics, the Chorale’s expanded relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other leading Southland music organizations, and the launch of the “Voices Within” education outreach program, inspiring the next generation of composers, singers and music lovers.  Under Knowles’ management, the Chorale has twice received the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming – in 2003 and 2010 – as well as Chorus America’s prestigious 2012 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the nation’s highest choral music award.  She served on the Chorus America Board of Directors from 1990-1996.  In 2014, both the City Club of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus honored Knowles for her outstanding leadership in the arts community.

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