DC’s National Symphony Orchestra Appoints New Executive Director

Former CEO of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Jean Davidson, will step into the new position as of April 1, 2023


Jean Davidson was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Deborah F. Rutter and National Symphony Orchestra Board Chairman Ronald Abramson.

Davidson succeeds Gary Ginstling, who left the National Symphony Orchestra in October 2022 to become the executive director of the New York Philharmonic. The 2022–2023 season marks the National Symphony Orchestra’s 92nd season, and music director, Gianandrea Noseda’s sixth season with the ensemble.

Jean Davidson was previously appointed president & CEO of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2015. Her prior roles include founding chief executive of New York Live Arts, chief executive of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, and founding managing director of the Silk Road Project, now known as Silkroad. During her career, she has helped produce more than 200 new productions in music, theater, and dance.

In 2011, she led the merger discussions with Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, including a multi-million-dollar campaign, to form New York Live Arts, a 20,000-square-foot center for interdisciplinary performance located in Chelsea, New York City.

As an educator, Davidson served as a lecturer at Oberlin College for five years, and currently serves as a guest lecturer on critical thinking at the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. She has guest taught at New York University’s Steinhardt School and Tisch School of the Arts, and the Università di Bologna arts management graduate program.

“The intelligence and international reputation of Gianandrea Noseda, with whom I felt an immediate connection, the superb artistry of the Orchestra, the Board’s commitment to the future, and the dedication of the administration attracted me to this opportunity,” Davidson said. “I want to think deeply about what it means to be based in our nation’s capital in 2023, serving audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. I see enormous opportunities to further the rich history of the NSO, and the field at large, as we plan for the Orchestra’s 100th anniversary in 2030–2031. While eager to begin my new work, I want to express my gratitude and admiration for Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale community.”

“I met Jean and instantly knew that this was going to be the start of a powerful collaboration for me, the artists of the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center,” said Gianandrea Noseda. “Jean thoroughly understands the state of today’s cultural landscape and has experience bringing multifaceted artistic projects from concept to the stage. She will bring her wide-reaching background and belief in the power of music to the position. We are all looking forward to working with her and welcoming her to Washington, D.C.”



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