Arts & Entertainment and Human Resources

Symphony extends contract of president and CEO

July 4, 2016
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Peter Gistelinck
Peter Gistelinck. Courtesy Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The president and CEO of a symphony in the region has earned a second term.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, or KSO, said last month that Peter Gistelinck’s contract has been extended.

Gistelinck will continue to lead the organization through the 2021-2022 concert season, which is also KSO’s 100th anniversary.

Gistelinck said he's “very excited” about the contract extension and the opportunity to continue to “contribute to the success of our wonderful orchestra and its musicians as we move toward our 100th anniversary.”

Gistelinck’s first term

Gistelinck was initially selected for the position following an international search in 2013 and began his tenure as KSO president and CEO in May 2014.

During his initial term, he successfully led the orchestra's daily operations, helping the orchestra maintain and improve its financial health and more than doubling the sponsorship income of the organization.

Gistelinck was instrumental in creating and implementing a strategic plan and expanding the orchestra’s overall activities.

This included an exclusive agreement with “Disney in Concert” that led to the national premiere of the “Alice in Wonderland” movie concert.

He also obtained a worldwide distribution deal for all of KSO’s archival recordings, going back to the mid '50s, through Naxos International.

“Unique set of skills”

Dr. Janice Brown, KSO board chair, said KSO has been “very fortunate” to have Gistelinck’s “excellent vision and leadership” during a period she called challenging for many nonprofit music organizations.

“Successfully managing an orchestra requires a unique set of skills, business expertise, artistic judgment and experience,” Brown said.

Gistelinck will continue to work alongside KSO Music Director Raymond Harvey.

Harvey said collaborating with a “never-stopping” president and CEO is “a dream come true.”

“Peter is driven by his love for music and passion for management and is always looking for new opportunities, original projects and artistic collaborations,” Harvey said.

Gistelinck’s background

Before joining KSO, Gistelinck held a number of positions across the industry and world: executive director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; director of sales and marketing and co-artistic director for the Brussels Philharmonic and Flemish Radio Choir in Brussels, Belgium; general manager of business affairs for Le Concert Spirituel, an international award-winning French Baroque orchestra in Paris from 1999 to 2004; general manager for the I Fiamminghi Chamber Orchestra in Ghent, Belgium from 1997 to 1999; consultant to the wind ensemble I Solisti del Vento; and music education and publishing manager for Roland Corporation Benelux from 1991 to1997.

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