August 18, 2016 – Korn Ferry has recruited Michael Murphy as president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. He replaces longtime Shea’s president Anthony Conte, who has decided to step down from the post.
Mr. Murphy is currently managing director of The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA. Prior to joining there in 2003, he worked as managing director of Austin Lyric Opera, director of administration of San Diego Opera and general manager of San Diego Repertory Theatre. He also held similar positions in New York at Theatre for a New Audience and the Joyce Theatre Foundation’s American Theatre Exchange. He serves on the executive committees of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre, League of Resident Theatres, and the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, and on the boards of the National Corporate Theatre Fund and San Diego County Theatrical Trusts.
“We are thrilled to welcome Michael as president of Shea’s,” said John Zak, vice chair of Shea’s and head of the search committee. “Michael’s experience and passion for the theatre arts and his appreciation for the important role Shea’s plays as the anchor of a thriving downtown arts scene makes him a perfect fit to succeed Tony Conte.”
Mr. Murphy’s appointment caps a seven month nationwide search. “The committee received dozens of applications from across North America, and interviewed several local and out-of-town candidates. In the end, Michael’s combination of experience, intelligence and passion stood out,” said Mr. Zak.
“Returning to Western New York and joining the extraordinary arts and culture community that makes Buffalo such a great place to live is a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Mr. Murphy. “The arts are tightly woven into the fabric of the region’s history and I’m honored and thrilled to be selected to work with the dedicated and talented Trustees, staff, and volunteers at Shea’s.”
Shea’s Performing Arts Center is a theater for touring Broadway musicals and special events in Buffalo, New York. Originally called Shea’s Buffalo, it was opened in 1926 to show silent movies and boasts one of the few theater organs in the U.S. that is still in operation in the theater for which it was designed.
Other performing arts organizations have been turning to executive search firms in recent months to find new leaders. Here’s a look at just a few:
- DHR International recruited Gabriel van Aalst as president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO). He was previously CEO of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.
- Greenwich Harbor Partners placed Liz Ritzcovan as a member of the board of directors at The New York Pops. She is the sixth director to be placed on the Pops board by the Greenwich, Conn-based search firm. The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the U.S., and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music.
- Executive search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has been retained by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Currently in its 72nd season, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra is considered to be one of the premier symphonic orchestras in the Midwest, reaching more than 260,000 individuals annually through its performances and educational programs.
- Spencer Stuart recruited Jenny Krueger as executive director of The Sun Valley Summer Symphony. The Sun Valley Summer Symphony, now in its 32nd season, convenes more than 100 world class musicians from North America’s most distinguished orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Houston Symphony, in Sun Valley, Idaho.
- Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm dedicated to the non-profit sector, was retained recently by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to lead its search for a president and executive director. Saratoga Performing Arts Center presents summer performances of classical music, jazz, pop and rock, dance, opera, as well as a Wine & Food Festival.
- Cleveland Institute of Music recently selected Isaacson, Miller to lead its search for a new president. VP Sheryl Ash and principal Rebecca Swartz are leading the search with associate Randi Alberry. Since its founding in 1920, the Cleveland Institute of Music has offered world class education to students from age three to 93.
- Koya Leadership Partners placed Charles Grode as president and executive director of the Merit School of Music. The Merit School is a non-profit organization that provides music education to underserved communities.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media