Fort Wayne Philharmonic announces managing director's departure
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic announced that managing director James Palermo will be leaving his position at the beginning of next year.
According to the Philharmonic Friday, Palermo is leaving his position with the orchestra to manage a new, local non-profit organization which has not been named yet.
Palermo began his time with the orchestra as an interim manager in 2015 before being named managing director by the Philharmonic board.
In a statement about Palermo’s departure, board chair Chuck Surack said Palermo helped the orchestra through tough financial times and worked “tirelessly” to build audiences and programming;
“Jim helped us through really tough financial times in 2015, then tirelessly set to work building back audiences and putting into place unique projects like Bach in the Barn, Violins of Hope, the Great Performers Series, and many others. He’s been a real change agent, helping to maneuver us through the pandemic and union negotiations, all while working with the Board to safeguard the future of the orchestra."
Over the last two years, the Philharmonic and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Player’s Association clashed over contract negotiations.
Campbell MacDonald, spokesman for the player’s association, said in a statement via e-mail that musicians are engaged in the process to find a new director;
“Following the organization’s contractions brought on by the COVID pandemic, the selection of a successor to the departing Managing Director will be key to the future of the Philharmonic. Musicians are engaged in this process, and will seek a candidate that is committed to rebuilding the orchestra’s presence in our community.”
According to Philharmonic management, the board will immediately begin searching for the next director.