People in the News

Two Big Jobs at Two Small Orchestras

June 4, 2021 | By Nicholas Beard, Musical America

Terell M. Johnson, former community engagement director for the New World Symphony, is to be the next executive director of the Chicago Philharmonic, a three-decade-old ensemble that has gone through various iterations since its founding.

Johnson, who starts July 1, succeeds Donna Milanovich, in the job for ten years and active in hiring her replacement. Johnson is a fellow in Sphinx’s LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity), program and holds an MM in clarinet performance from Florida State University.

He has large shoes to fill. Milanovich’s tenure saw the profile—and the budget--of the orchestra rise exponentially, at one time serving as the orchestra for the Joffrey Ballet and a regular at the Ravinia Festival. It is currently the resident orchestra of the Harris Theater.


The Winnipeg (CA) Symphony also has a new executive director. Angela Birdsell is described as an arts management consultant, with Ottawa Live Arts Community, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the Saint John Theater Company among her clients. She succeeds Trudy Schroeder, in the job for 13 seasons.

“Thanks to the WSO community and Trudy Schroeder’s leadership, this orchestra entered the pandemic from a position of strength," said Birdsell in a statement.

"While no one in the performing arts can predict what the new normal will look like, I am certain the WSO will continue to earn the support of the community through extraordinary experiences in music. To do so, we know we need to remain focused, patient and empathetic with each other, flexible and curious about new opportunities, and most of all, ambitious and optimistic about our future. I’m very excited to be part of the next phase of the WSO’s growth."



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