One of the longest-lasting arts leaders in North Texas, Ann Koonsman, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 1980, is retiring, effective July 31.
For some, this will be a generation passing — Koonsman has been at the helm of the FWSO for so long and helped raise its profile with conductors John Giordano and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, plus the orchestra’s international tours. She cited a need to spend more time with her family, including her three grandsons, and more time to pursue other interests. A search to identify and hire her replacement is starting immediately.
The full release follows:
FORT WORTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESIDENT ANN KOONSMAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Today Ann Koonsman, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, announced her retirement to the Chairman’s Council, effective July 31, 2011. Koonsman, a thirty-year veteran of the Orchestra, cited a need to spend more time with her family and to pursue other interests. “I am blessed to have a very devoted husband, Ron, and three young grandsons who light up my life,” she said. Griffin, Hudson and Parker Koonsman are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Koonsman and live in nearby Southlake.
Koonsman has been at the helm of the FWSO since 1980. During that time, the Orchestra has become recognized as one of the most successful orchestras in its budget category with a $12 million balanced budget, a 45-week concert season and a $27 million endowment fund. The Concerts In The Garden Summer Music Festival was founded by Koonsman in 1990, and annually attracts nearly 45,000 patrons.
Highlights of Koonsman’s tenure include international tours, numerous recordings and commissioning projects, and the transition into Bass Performance Hall where the Orchestra enjoys the status of being the sole resident company.
“It has been particularly rewarding to have been involved in some of the most exciting times in the history of the Fort Worth Symphony, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do the work I love to do,” Koonsman said. “The stellar artistic leadership provided by John Giordano and Miguel Harth-Bedoya have been key to the Orchestra’s every success, as has the very devoted and generous leadership of board chairman Mrs. Sid R. Bass. I could not have asked for a more supportive team of board, staff and musicians. We have attracted top-notch talent from across America. Of course, having the visionary support of Mercedes Bass has helped us achieve milestones never before imagined.”
Mercedes Bass said of Koonsman, “Ann has a great passion for symphonic music and for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Her style of management has encompassed skill, devotion and commitment beyond the ordinary. We owe her a great debt of gratitude for her service to the Orchestra and to the city of Fort Worth.”
Bass and the FWSO’s Chairman’s Council will take immediate steps to identify and recruit a successor for Koonsman. “She will be difficult to replace,” commented Bass.
Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya is out of the country recording with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and could not be reached for comment.