Ravinia names new leader

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - BY MIRIAM DI NUNZIO, STAFF RE­PORTER md­i­n­un­zio@sun­times.com | @miri­amd­i­n­un­zio

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

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