FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
February 11, 2021 — The Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of David Pratt as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director for Austin’s 110-year-old symphony orchestra. Pratt will provide leadership and vision to achieve the orchestra’s continued goals of artistic excellence, community engagement and education outreach. He is expected to begin his role this April.
Ben Bentzin, president of the ASO Board of Trustees, said of Pratt’s appointment, “We are thrilled that David is joining our ASO family. As we return to live performances this fall, the ASO is poised to build its momentum and community impact under David’s leadership. Following a national search with many outstanding candidates, it was David’s experience in the performing arts and visionary leadership that made him the right choice as we seek to deepen the ASO’s connection to communities throughout Central Texas.”
“The ASO plays a critical role in the cultural, entertainment and educational fabric of Central Texas,” shared David Pratt. “I am looking forward to leading the organization into a new era of abundance; bringing joy and unity through music across the greater Austin community. I’m also excited to be working and collaborating with ASO’s long time Music Director and Conductor, Peter Bay.”
David Pratt is a transformative leader who embodies integrity, transparency and collaboration, creating deep connections with internal and external stakeholders. Pratt has over 20 years of management experience in leadership roles across the performing arts, film and entertainment sectors in the United States and Australia. He has led multiple music organizations with diverse teams while delivering balanced budgets and significant community impact.
In his current role as Executive Director of the Savannah Music Festival (SMF), David returned the organization to operating surpluses, building cash reserves, and acquired major gifts. He also championed new community education initiatives securing multi-year funding for SMF’s new after-school program, SMF Jazz Academy.
Prior to joining the Savannah Music Festival, Pratt held chief executive positions with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He has also held leadership positions with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.
Pratt succeeds ASO Executive Director Anthony Corroa, who has been with the organization for more than 20 years. “The ASO is grateful for Anthony’s many years of tireless service to the organization and its mission,” said board president Bentzin. “To honor his legacy leading the ASO, the Board of Trustees has resolved to name a Masterworks Series performance in his honor each season.”
About the Austin Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1911, the Austin Symphony Orchestra is Austin’s oldest performing arts group. The ASO offers a complete season of musical and educational programming. Masterworks concerts include a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through May in the state-of-the-art Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Our season also features the Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series: October, January and February Pops at the Long Center and December & June Pops at Palmer Events Center. Programming for the entire family includes the Halloween Children’s Concert, “A Very Merry Symphony,” H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks, Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park, as well as the popular James C. Armstrong Youth Education Endowment programs, which include Children’s Day Art Park, Young People’s Concerts, High School Concert Tour and a variety of other school programs.