The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has named Evan Gidley as its new executive director.
“I am extremely honored to accept this leadership role at the CCO,” said Gidley. “This is an exciting time for the performing arts industry as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to rethink traditional business models in order to achieve greater accessibility via a focus on community. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to advance the CCO’s mission as I take the next step in my career.”
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra is an independent ensemble of 32 professional musicians that launched the critically acclaimed summer music festival Summermusik in August 2015. The CCO offers a fun and informative musical experience in an intimate and informal setting. The CCO’s size allows for creativity in programming; presenting orchestral works ranging from Baroque and Classical eras to commissioned works by contemporary composers. Collaborations are a hallmark of the CCO, including partnerships with VAE: Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Summermusik concerts are presented in venues all around Greater Cincinnati, and the festival has experienced unprecedented growth under music director Eckart Preu.
A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Gidley previously spent time in Cincinnati while earning his Master of Music in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Prior to joining the CCO, Gidley served as Orchestra Personnel Manager with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, where he assisted in leading the organization’s robust community outreach program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he successfully managed the implementation of two new educational websites for young children and teenagers and led the 2021 and 2022 Benefit for the Children of Central Ohio program, which paired professional musicians with more than 500 underserved students via private and group lessons.
“The executive director role within the CCO requires a strong sense of desire to personally connect our community and supporters to our innovative programs that reward by stirring musical curiosity,” said CCO Board President Daniel Pfahl. “Evan will thrive in that environment. What a great moment for the CCO as we move toward our 50th Anniversary season in 2024.”
The executive director is responsible for managing the overall operations and financial resources of the organization. To achieve the CCO’s vision and mission, Gidley will also manage concert productions and musician relations as well as fundraising and marketing efforts.
Following the outdoor season of 2021, the 2022 Summermusik season will return to an indoor format. Summermusik will again offer three different concert experiences, with the Main Stage series — featuring full orchestra performances at the School for Creative & Performing Arts in Over-the-Rhine — as well as the A Little Afternoon Musik concerts and Chamber Crawl concerts, which are fun and interactive series held at venues around Greater Cincinnati.