Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Smith extends symphony tenure

Steven Smith has extended his contract as the Richmond Symphony’s music director for another three years, agreeing to serve through the 2018-19 season, and the orchestra projects running a budget surplus in its current fiscal year.

David Fisk, the symphony’s executive director, announced at the annual meeting of the organization’s board of directors that the orchestra has raised the funds needed to match a $500,000 grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation to purchase a “big tent” stage that can be transported and set up for outdoor concerts.

Those funds largely account for a reported six-figure surplus on a $6 million annual budget, the third time in as many years that the symphony has run in the black.

Rebecca J. Horner, a community volunteer, has been elected the new chair of the symphony board, succeeding Philip H. Bennett. Other officers elected at the annual meeting are Richard Smith, vice chair; Elizabeth Cabell Jennings, treasurer; and D. Brennen Keene, secretary. Fisk, George Mahoney, Sarah Knakmuhs and Mark T. Cox IV also will serve on the board’s executive committee.

Ronald Crutcher, incoming president of the University of Richmond and a performing cellist, will join the symphony board. Other new board members are Priscilla Burbank, Steve Girard and Brandon C. Taylor.