The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has named Christopher Barton as its new executive director. In his role, Barton will provide leadership and vision to meet the orchestra’s mission to foster and promote symphonic music through excellence in performance, education, and cultural leadership. “After a national search, we are thrilled to welcome Chris to the Orlando Philharmonic family,” shared Michael Elsberry, President of the Philharmonic Board of Directors. He added, “The entire Board is excited to work with Chris and we know his leadership, new ideas, and great energy will help drive the orchestra to great heights.”
Barton succeeds former Executive Director David Schillhammer, who recently stepped down after more than 15 years with the Philharmonic. He will lead the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with Music Director Eric Jacobsen, who has just completed his first season with the orchestra. “I’m so excited that the Orlando Philharmonic has such a strong leader, thinker, and bright star to help steer the ship into the future,” said Jacobsen. “Chris is a stand out in the field of arts management. He is business-minded and artistically driven. He is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurialand collaborative style and I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Barton comes to Orlando from Flagstaff, Arizona where he has served as the executive director of the Flagstaff North Carolina at Charlotte, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts
He received a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC and a Bachelor of Music Industry Studies from the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in his native state of North Carolina.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as its next executive director and at this exciting time for the organization,” said Barton. “The Philharmonic has incredible momentum and creative potential right now. With Eric Jacobsen as music director, a permanent home at The Plaza Live, and the support of a dynamic and growing community, this orchestra can accomplish anything. I look forward to working with Eric and the musicians, board, staff, and volunteers to advance the artistic and financial success of the organization in the service of great music and the community of Central Florida.”
Chris, his wife Angela, and their two children will arrive in Orlando in late July.