March 24, 2016
New York, NY – Richard F. Brueckner, Chairman of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Board of Trustees, today announced the appointment of Alexander Scheirle as the orchestra’s next Executive Director. Mr. Scheirle is currently the Executive and Artistic Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado and assumes his new position at Orpheus on May 1, 2016. He succeeds Kristine Spensieri, who has served as Interim Executive Director since June 2015, following Krishna Thiagarajan’s departure.
“Alexander Scheirle has demonstrated the skills and experience vital — in both artistic and commercial aspects — to leading an orchestra of Orpheus’ high caliber,” said Mr. Brueckner. “He has generated widespread support and enthusiasm from the Board, musicians, and staff. The Search Committee, led by Thomas H. Bishop, conducted a rigorous and thorough process, and we believe Alexander is an outstanding fit for Orpheus. His leadership will help the orchestra continue to grow, thrive, and create new innovative artistic interpretations and creations. On behalf of all of us at Orpheus, I express our thanks to Kristine Spensieri for her thoughtful leadership over the past nine months. Kristine will continue to be a valued senior financial and operations executive at Orpheus.”
Eric Wyrick, Artistic Coordinator of Orpheus, said, “The Orpheus musicians and Artistic Directors welcome Mr. Scheirle as our new Executive Director. It is exciting to have such an accomplished musician sophisticated international awareness.”
Alexander Scheirle said, “I have followed Orpheus throughout my career, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to be part of the future of this remarkable ensemble. Orpheus stands for everything I care for in the field of making music. I am privileged to be part of an organization that includes collaboration in all facets of the organization as well as a shared responsibility both on and off stage, resulting in an incredible sense of ownership for everyone involved.”
Mr. Scheirle has served as Executive and Artistic Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival since 2004, where he increased the operational budget from $300,000 to $1.5 million, implemented an Endowment Fund, delivered consistently balanced budgets, and spearheaded a Capital Campaign for a new performing arts center which raised $24 million. During his tenure with the festival, he increased concert attendance by 55%, oversaw initiatives that led to a 77% increase in ticket revenue, further developed educational programs with a 66% increase in student participants, and launched a Young Artist Program that has become one of the premiere summer workshops for young singers. Through these initiatives and more, Mr. Scheirle successfully established the festival as an internationally recognized performing arts organization with creative programming spanning genres from symphonic works to opera, and jazz.
Additionally, Mr. Scheirle was a founding member of the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, a self- governed chamber orchestra formed in 1990 and modeled after Orpheus. Mr. Scheirle served as Executive and Artistic Director of the orchestra from 2000 to 2007 and was responsible for the orchestra’s budget, internal and external negotiations, and securing soloists, presenting partners, and venues. He initiated international concert tours and established relationships with recording labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Oehms Classics, and Sony, facilitating the production of multiple recordings each year. He worked closely with the Board to broaden the orchestra’s donor base and was instrumental in securing new sources of funding and the development and implementation of sponsor benefit programs.
Mr. Scheirle began his career as a cellist, and has a Master of Music degree from the Musikhochschule Cologne, Germany, an Advanced Solo Study degree from the Guildhall School of Music, London and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Musikhochschule Saarbruecken. He has resided in New York since 2007 with his wife and two children.
A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. Performing without a conductor, Orpheus rotates musical leadership roles for each work and strives to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue. With 71 albums and 43 commissioned and premiered original works, Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues.
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus ProcessTM, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard and of leadership seminars at Morgan Stanley and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Two unique education and engagement programs, Access Orpheus and Orpheus Institute, aim to bring this approach to students of all ages. Access Orpheus, Orpheus’ educational initiative, shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with public school students from all five boroughs in New York City with in-class visits, attendance at working rehearsals, and free tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall. Orpheus Institute brings the Orpheus ProcessTM and the orchestra’s musicians to select colleges, universities, conservatories, and businesses to work directly with leaders of tomorrow. Corporate employees and students in all fields of study learn from Orpheus’ creative process and in areas of collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and shared leadership.
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