People in the News

Grand Rapids Symphony Taps Tulsa's CEO

May 3, 2023 | By Taylor Grant, Musical America

Keith Elder is to become the new president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony as of July 1, 2023. He succeeds Mary Tuuk Kuras, who retired in December 2022; Chuck Frayer has been serving as interim.  

Elder joins the Grand Rapids ensemble from Oklahoma, where he has been the top man at the Tulsa Symphony for four years. Previous postings include senior management positions at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Eastman School of Music, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, and directing jazz and popular music concerts at Tanglewood Music Center. He has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in music and arts administration, with concentrations in tuba and technical theater, and a Juris Doctor degree from New England Law.

In a statement released upon his appointment, Elder affirmed his commitment “to ensuring that we continue to provide transformative musical experiences for our audiences and contribute positively to the cultural fabric of the city…. [while exploring] new opportunities for growth, collaboration, and innovation.”

Grand Rapids Symphony Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, who has worked with Elder in the past, noted, “I can attest to his exceptional leadership skills, dedication to the arts, and deep understanding of the needs and challenges of a symphony orchestra.”



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