L.A. Phil names Kim Noltemy as president and CEO

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has named Kim Noltemy its new president and chief executive. Noltemy will assume the role July 8, leaving Dallas Symphony Assn., where she has served as president and CEO since 2018. She takes over from interim CEO Daniel Song after L.A. Phil chief Chad Smith decamped for the Boston Symphony last fall.

Noltemy’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for the L.A. Phil, which must find someone to take the reins as the organization’s music and artistic director when Gustavo Dudamel leaves for the New York Philharmonic in 2026. Dudamel is a towering figure of classical music and his loss likely will ricochet across the organization, requiring a steady hand to right the ship and continue leading the organization down the path that, until now, has made it perhaps the most-admired orchestra in the country.

For the record:

2:04 p.m. May 1, 2024An earlier version of this article misreported Kim Noltemy’s start date. She assumes the new role on July 8.

Noltemy told The Times she’s excited to work alongside Dudamel during his remaining time with the orchestra, and to head up the hunt for a new music director.

“I’m just over the moon thinking about how exciting developing the new vision will be with the music director and the board and the team,” she said.

Noltemy said she has not yet been briefed about the search for Dudamel’s replacement but that it was likely still in “relatively early stages.” She’ll be looking for someone who has “a tremendous number of ideas and vision,” as well as an “understanding of what it’s like to be in an urban environment” like L.A. and the need to serve its many diverse audiences, including getting young people interested and invested in classical music.

“The L.A. Phil deserves an incredible musical genius,” she said.

Noltemy hopes to build on the L.A. Phil’s current achievements and history of innovation to help it reach even greater heights. “There are so many ways that we can make music integral to people’s lives,” she said. “And I would say that this institution is able to do things, dream about things and make them all happen … and so this will be the next chapter.”

The L.A. Phil was among the few arts organizations in the city to emerge relatively unscathed from the tumult and damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not to say it didn’t suffer mightily — having at one point lost an estimated $100 million in projected income. But by 2023, the orchestra’s board chairman told The Times it would end the year with record sales and income of $160 million.

Like Smith at the L.A. Phil, Noltemy guided the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through the pandemic. During her tenure with the organization, she was committed to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that were credited with expanded programming as well as increased opportunities for BIPOC artists and staff. Prior to her time in Dallas, Noltemy worked for more than two decades with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where she ultimately served as chief operating and communications officer.

“I look forward to welcoming Kim into our L.A. Phil family. Our extraordinary musicians and organization have shown the world a powerful new vision for what an orchestra can be, and how it can impact the community around it, and I am confident we will continue to push ourselves to even greater heights in the years to come,” said Dudamel in a news release.

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