Madison Symphony Orchestra executive director retiring after 22 years

Madison Symphony Orchestra
Madison Symphony Orchestra(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After 22 years of leading the administration of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, executive director Richard Mackie is set to retire this summer.

“As the end of the COVID crisis comes into focus, the Symphony is in excellent shape financially and artistically to resume its mission of great music for everyone,” Mackie said in a statement. “This is a good time for me to wrap-up some major projects and leave the organization well prepared for its future leadership.”

Mackie has guided the Symphony administration since early 1999 when he moved from Edgewood College. He had previously led the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He is also an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, having a master’s degree in arts administration.

Mackie also headed the transition from the Madison Civic Center into Overture Hall, as well as lead the planning of the Overture Concert Organ when the new hall opened in 2004.

“It has been a high honor to serve the Symphony,” Mackie said. “I have experienced the peak moments of my career working with this remarkable organization.”

Symphony Board of Directors president Ellsworth Brown explained the process to find Mackie’s replacement is being planned currently.

“Rick’s longevity as Executive Director is exceptional,” Ellsworth said. “His vision, commitment to and knowledge of the Greater Madison community, management skills and collaboration with Maestro John DeMain have brought the Madison Symphony Orchestra to the high level we now enjoy. In turn, this success and Madison’s strong cultural life make the position very attractive.”

Mackie’s retirement will start on July 1.

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