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Symphony Chief Executive Going To Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins

Dan Dreyfus | St. Louis Symphony

Fred Bronstein, who has led the St. Louis Symphony since 2008, is leaving to head the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

In a press release, Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels said, “Dr. Bronstein’s experience, accomplishments and creativity – as a performer, as a music educator and, most recently, as a dynamic and visionary chief executive – mark him as the leader for Peabody’s future. He will unite faculty, students, staff, alumni and other institute supporters behind a shared vision of what Peabody can be. And he will lead them in making that vision a reality.”

As Bronstein, 57, noted, "Peabody is the oldest and among the top conservatories in the United States today." He will begin his work in Baltimore in June.

St. Louis Symphony Board Chair Barry Beracha said in a statement, “We are thankful for Fred’s many contributions during his six-year tenure with the St. Louis Symphony.  He took a proactive and effective approach to stabilize ticket sales, reinvigorate the Symphony’s brand and bring in new audiences.  We’re certainly sorry to see him leave St. Louis and the STL Symphony. St. Louis’ loss is certainly Peabody’s gain and we wish him and his family continued success.”

During Bronstein's time in St. Louis, he helped revitalize the orchestra, bringing in more revenue and a larger audience. A musician himself, he supported innovative programming. He also was a driving force behind such outreach efforts as live broadcasts over St. Louis Public Radio, community concerts and a return to touring.

As he told reporter Robert W. Duffy as the symphony embarked on its 2012 European tour, “To do something such as this successfully you have to be efficient and compact. There has to be a high level of collaboration.”

By all accounts, the tour was a clear success.

“As satisfying as it is to run a major orchestra,” Bronstein said in the announcement of the career move, “I’m really excited to take what I’ve learned and focus it earlier in the pipeline. Young musicians are coming of age in a more complex environment than ever before. They need to be highly accomplished in their art, and prepared to be independent entities who are entrepreneurial, community-minded, creative educators and good communicators. They need to be prepared to develop their own careers and, in a sense, to develop their own audiences.”

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.