James A. Wilkinson will continue to serve through 2015 transition
PITTSBURGH—Pittsburgh Symphony President and Chief Executive Officer, James A. Wilkinson, has announced that he will retire during 2015. The symphony will launch an immediate search for his successor, and Wilkinson will remain in the position until that person is hired. Once a successor has been named, Wilkinson will become Senior Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.
“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a very important part of my life for more than 30 years,” said Wilkinson. “I have greatly enjoyed this position and I am proud to have had the opportunity to lead this organization for the past three years. I now look forward to returning to the Board of Trustees and continuing to support our superb musicians and our talented, dedicated staff.”
After volunteering his services to the symphony as a labor negotiator beginning in 1976, Wilkinson became a member of the orchestra’s Board of Trustees in 1984. He was a Vice Chair of the Board when he accepted the CEO role in 2011.
“Jim’s dedication and service have brought tremendous value to the Pittsburgh Symphony,” said Board Chair Richard P. Simmons. “His wisdom, his calm manner, and his longtime and close relationships with our musicians have been cornerstones of this orchestra’s ability to thrive artistically and to play an important role in our community. I am delighted that he will continue to fill a vital role on the Board of Trustees.”
A lawyer specializing in labor relations, Wilkinson has worked at U.S. Steel Corporation and at Buchanan Ingersoll P.C., where he chaired the Health Law Section. He also has held executive positions with Meritcare, Inc., a national operator of long-term care facilities. Following his corporate career, he earned an M.A. in Art History. Reflecting that interest, Wilkinson served as Executive Director of the Society for Contemporary Craft from 2007 to 2009, following a term as President of its Board of Directors. He is a Life Trustee of the Carnegie Institute and also co-chaired the Andy Warhol Museum board. He also chaired the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, a national organization, from 2008 to 2011.
“Jim is a true friend and supporter of music and art,” said Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck. “I have enjoyed working with him very much, and I am so thankful that he will remain an important member of our Pittsburgh Symphony family.”