CHICAGO – Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, today issued the following statement regarding the death of the company’s president and CEO, Kenneth G. Pigott:
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn and to share the news of the death of Ken Pigott, president and CEO of Lyric Opera. In the few hours since his passing, we have only begun to grasp the depth and breadth of this unimaginable loss. Ken was a truly unique man. He was a visionary whose wisdom and passion transformed the lives of everyone at Lyric, and at the many organizations with which he was associated. He is irreplaceable.
“All of us at Lyric Opera extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Jane, and to their family.
“Plans to honor and celebrate Ken’s life are still being developed.”
Kenneth G. Pigott, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Kenneth G. Pigott was deeply committed to Lyric Opera of Chicago for many years, having served as a member of the Board of Directors since 1998 and as the company’s president and CEO since 2011. He was a visionary leader with extraordinary business acumen and a genuine passion for opera. He was instrumental in the discussions that led to Renée Fleming’s appointment as the company’s creative consultant in 2010, and also chaired the international search that resulted in the appointment of Anthony Freud as the company’s general director in 2011.
Pigott led a strategic-planning process that resulted in unanimous board approval for the new plan, which combines the core values of excellence, relevance and fiscal responsibility.
Pigott was managing partner of Vaduz Partners LLC, a private investment company specializing in information technology services. He served as a board member of OPERA America (he received that organization’s prestigious National Opera Trustee Recognition Award in 2014), and was also a board member of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Chicago Children’s Hospital, and the Merit School of Music.
Founded in 1954, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.
Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.
Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become the great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.