CHICAGO – Lyric Opera general director Anthony Freud announced today that Richard P. Kiphart will become the interim president and CEO of Lyric, until the company’s annual meeting and end of its fiscal year this June.
“Lyric’s board held a vote today to nominate the candidate to continue the work of the late Kenneth G. Pigott until the company’s annual meeting. That vote has established current board of directors chairman Richard P. Kiphart as the interim president and CEO, a role that he had held immediately preceding Ken’s distinguished tenure. All of us at Lyric are confident that this decision will allow for a seamless transition of governance. We are extremely grateful to Dick for his immediate acceptance of this essential role,” stated Freud.
Richard P. Kiphart became Lyric Opera of Chicago’s president and CEO in May of 2006, succeeding Allan B. Muchin. Kiphart has been a member of Lyric’s board of directors since 1998. He served as executive vice president 2005-06. He has been a member of the executive committee since 2001 and currently serves as chairman.
“Though it saddens all of us that this transition is necessary, I am honored to step into this important and challenging role, welcoming the opportunity to work even more closely with Anthony Freud, Sir Andrew Davis, and Renée Fleming, as well as the whole Lyric team,” said Kiphart.
About Richard P. Kiphart
Kiphart has worked for the Chicago-based investment firm William Blair & Company throughout his professional life, beginning in 1965. He had served as head of corporate finance and private client advisors. In 1972 he became a general partner of the firm. He currently sits on the executive committee of William Blair & Company.
Kiphart earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Dartmouth College in 1963 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard a minesweeper during the Vietnam War.
Kiphart served as chairman of Concord EFS, Inc., a NYSE company in the credit-card processing industry, which merged with First Data Corporation in 2004. He is chairman of Lime Energy and Ranir Corporation. Kiphart was chairman of Chicago’s Merit School of Music from 2001-2005 and has also served as chairman of the Erikson Institute and is current board chairman of Columbia College of Chicago.
Kiphart is on the board of ONE, an organization formed in 2002 by rock star and social activist Bono, which aims to reduce poverty in Africa through advocating international policy changes.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kiphart and his wife Susan, president of Lyric’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, live in Chicago.
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.