Pictured: Frank Byrne
The Kansas City Symphony has announced longtime Executive Director Frank Byrne will conclude his career with the Symphony on August 31, 2019.
“It is my privilege to lead and serve this organization, and one of my most sacred responsibilities is to plan for the Symphony’s future without me,” Byrne said. “When I depart, I will have been with the Symphony for nearly 19 years — a great run. The organization is very strong both artistically and financially, and 2019 is the ideal time for this important transition.”
Symphony Board Chair William M. Lyons said, “Frank Byrne has been a driving force behind the growth and success of the Kansas City Symphony. During his tenure, all aspects of Symphony operations have grown dramatically and have achieved new levels of excellence. It is undeniably at the center of the performing arts in Kansas City. The Symphony’s contribution to the cultural health of our community is a direct result of Frank’s intelligent, energetic and committed leadership. He has positioned the organization beautifully for continued success.”
Byrne joined the Kansas City Symphony in November 2000 as General Manager, and in July 2002, then-Board Chair Shirley Helzberg asked him to move into the Executive Director role. Under his leadership, the Symphony has set records for ticket sales, earned and contributed revenue, and has expanded its programming and outreach. The Symphony’s annual budget has grown from $8 million in 2001 to nearly $19 million for 2019. The Symphony’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.
“There is no orchestra in America with greater potential or spirit than the Kansas City Symphony, so this will be a fantastic opportunity for the right person,” Byrne said. “I will assist any way I can to assure the Symphony’s continued success.”
“I have known no Executive Director more dedicated to the institution, more committed to details while never losing sight of the greater end, or more in love with music, than Frank Byrne,” said Music Director Michael Stern. “Frank thinks like a musician and lives like one, and he will leave an indelible mark on the Kansas City Symphony. His organizational insight and fiscal stewardship are abundantly evident in our growth and our stability. His greatest contribution remains his advocacy for the musicians and his tireless devotion to great music; and because of this, he was the essential catalyst to transforming the Symphony’s culture into what it is today. I have been privileged to have had in Frank a great collaborator in our shared musical adventure. As his colleague and friend, I have benefitted from his counsel, humor, hard work and vision, and I could not be more grateful.”
The Symphony board will now begin a national search to identify the next Executive Director.
For more information on the Kansas City Symphony visit kcsymphony.org.