Allison B. Vulgamore, president of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1993, will take over the Philadelphia ensemble at a time when it has been badly shaken by financial turmoil. She is expected to start work as president and CEO no later than Feb. 1.
“I think that we have found a leader who is as smart as can be, and who is deeply and successfully experienced in leading an orchestra,” said new board chairman Richard B. Worley. “I think she’s creative, and she has pizzazz.”
Her contract, which will run for two years, is not signed, though Worley said he had a “clear and firm understanding” with Vulgamore. He declined to specify her salary, though he said it was in line with industry standards. She earned $597,669 at the Atlanta Symphony, a smaller and less prestigious orchestra, for the nine months ending May 31, 2008, according to forms filed with the IRS.
Vulgamore – who is meeting with orchestra musicians, board and other arts leaders this week – arrives at a time of severe crisis for the 109-year-old organization. It is running a series of large deficits, has spent almost all of its unrestricted endowment, and has functioned for several months without a permanent president, board chairman and music director.