Ravinia names new leader
The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park has hired Jeffrey P. Haydon as president and CEO, it was announced early Friday morning.
Haydon will replace Welz Kauffman, who announced last fall he would be stepping down this September after serving as president and CEO for 20 years.
“Ravinia’s reputation for presenting outstanding performances by the world’s greatest artists means that we can attract top talent not just to our stages but also to our staff and leadership,” Ravinia chairman Don Civgin said in a statement about Haydon’s appointment. “Jeff ’s successful career in the arts reflects Ravinia’s values and shows he can lead an organization through growth and change.”
Haydon brings more than two decades of cultural arts management/programming experience to his new post. He currently serves as the CEO of New York’s Caramoor Center for Music and Arts, a position he has held since 2012. He also served as executive director of the Ojai Music Festival, and according to Friday’s statement, has previously worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Aspen Music Festival.
“I am honored to be asked to lead the Ravinia Festival,” Haydon said in a statement. “Ravinia’s international artistic reputation, legendary live-music experience, beautiful park, training of the next generation of artists, and local community impact with children provide an ideal opportunity to further inspire the world through music. I look forward to returning to Chicago to join the Ravinia Family.”
Haydon becomes the fourth person to serve as president and CEO of Ravinia following pianist Edward Gordon (19741989), Zarin Mehta (1990-2000) and Kauffman.
Jeffrey P. Haydon CARAMOOR/YOUTUBE