May 11, 2020
Chicago Sinfonietta welcomes Blake-Anthony Johnson as new CEO

Blake-Anthony Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Blake-Anthony Johnson will begin his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Sinfonietta effective June 1st 2020. A leader in the classical music industry having worked with several orchestras and organizations including the New World Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and more, Johnson’s multifaceted career to date encompasses work as an administrator, performer, and educator. An internationally recognized and award-winning cellist, he started his career in the arts as a professional cellist performing throughout the U.S. and abroad as an orchestral musician and soloist.

Prior to his appointment with Chicago Sinfonietta, Johnson served as Director of Learning & Community with Louisville Orchestra. In this role, Johnson lead the organization’s efforts in connecting a broad and diverse audience to symphonic music. Johnson’s work focused on the management and reach of the organizations programming aimed to increase and enhance the public’s access to, understanding of and engagement with the orchestra. Additional efforts encompassed work and management of annual development, equity, diversity and inclusion, and stewardship activities. His tenure with the Louisville Orchestra includes major success in its participation in the citywide consortium Violins of Hope Project, the opening of Paristown Hall, and the securing of new revenue sources.

Previously, as a New World Symphony Cello and Administrative Fellow, Johnson focused on new audience engagement, community engagement, digital media, and equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. During his tenure, he co-hosted the Imaginative Symphony concert series, and worked to develop the promotion and reach of the organization’s philanthropic support. Previous appointments include Founder of Music Education for Youth Initiative in Nashville, TN, in addition to positions at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, and Spoleto Music Festival USA. Johnson began his career as a cellist concertizing both in the USA and around the world as an orchestral musician and soloist.

Johnson is an alumnus of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, Cleveland State University, and the Manhattan School of Music. He currently serves on the board of CARES Mentoring Movement in South Florida and is a member of Sphinx Organization’s second cohort of Leaders in Excellence, Arts and Diversity.

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