In a surprising promotion, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has appointed one of its leading musicians as its president and executive director, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says.
Mark Niehaus, the symphony’s longtime principal trumpeter, will give up his orchestra chair to take over the desk of Maryellen Gleason, who resigned as the orchestra’s top executive after two seasons.
The musician, who served as chairman of the Orchestra Players’ Council, “has emerged in the last couple years as a valued board member, a valued representative of the orchestra and a really great spokesman for the orchestra,” said Douglas Hagerman, chairman of the symphony’s board.
“It was a long process in my brain to shift gears and think about how can I best serve this orchestra and serve the music,” Mr. Niehaus said. “I felt that I could sit on a stage and do a certain amount, but I could do more if I took this opportunity. So I did, and my trumpet’s in the case now.”
The symphony announced that it had a balanced budget for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, with the help of a record $12-million in contributions.