Barbara Bozzuto Elected Chair of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
First female board chair in 98-year history of BSO
Baltimore, Md. (June 20, 2014) – At a meeting of the BSO Board of Directors on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Barbara Bozzuto was elected the Orchestra’s new board chair effective immediately, succeeding Kenneth W. DeFontes, Jr., who completed his three-year term in the position. Ms. Bozzuto becomes the first female board chair of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in its 98-year history, following in the groundbreaking footsteps of Marin Alsop, who, in 2007, became the first female music director of a major American orchestra.
Bozzuto, who has served as a member of the BSO board for the past three years, has been active in Baltimore nonprofits for more than 30 years, including serving as BSO Gala Chair with her husband Thomas in 2011. She is currently a board member of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the National Advisory Committee of the Peabody Conservatory. She was formerly the chair of the board of WYPR Radio and of St. Agnes Hospital. Her other volunteer fundraising activities have included the Maryland Science Center, Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle charter member, the Walters Art Museum Gala and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Bozzuto’s professional awards include Baltimore magazine Top Businesswomen of the Year, Maryland’s Top 100 Women and Saint Agnes’ highest honor, the Caritas Award. In 2013, Bozzuto was named the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Maryland Chapter’s Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year.
Bozzuto succeeds Kenneth DeFontes, Jr., president and CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) and a senior vice president with Constellation Energy, who served as board chair for three years. Mr. DeFontes applauds the selection, “Barbara’s contributions as a board member have been invaluable. With Barbara at the helm, the BSO will continue to benefit from her tireless energy, keen insight and heartfelt devotion to the organization. I am confident that under her leadership, in partnership with Marin Alsop’s artistic innovation and President and CEO Paul Meecham’s track record of fiscal stability, the BSO will continue on its path of relevance in the community, artistic excellence and success.”
“Barbara’s experience as a BSO board member, legendary volunteer service to Baltimore nonprofits and experience as chairman of the board of St. Agnes Hospital during their $250 million renovation makes her an ideal choice as the Orchestra’s next board chair,” adds BSO President and CEO Paul Meecham.
Commenting on her appointment, Bozzuto said, “I’m honored and privileged to lead one of the nation’s most admired orchestras, particularly now as we look to the Orchestra’s centenary in 2016. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is an integral part of the Baltimore and Montgomery County communities and contributor to the quality of life across Maryland. I look forward to continuing the progress made under Ken’s and before him Michael Bronfein’s leadership, further strengthening this terrific institution now and into the future.”
About Barbara Bozzuto
Barbara Bozzuto has been active as an executive and community leader within the greater Baltimore region for 30 years. Among her many philanthropic activities, she is past chair of the Board of St. Agnes Hospital, and chaired the boards of WYPR Radio and Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. For 10 years until 2000, Barbara was president of Bozzuto-Lowenstein Marketing, a special events, sponsorship and sports marketing company producing large public events and nationally televised U.S. Olympic sports. Prior to that, she was the executive director for the Maryland Sports Corporation, director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion, executive director of Baltimore Operation Sail and public relations director of the Pride of Baltimore, Inc. Ms. Bozzuto’s professional awards include Baltimore magazine Top Businesswomen of the Year, Maryland’s Top 100 Women and the Caritas Award from St. Agnes Hospital. She was the 2013 recipient of the AFP Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year. Her other volunteer activities have involved Kennedy Krieger Institute, Maryland Science Center, Gilman School Centennial Celebration, USS Constellation 150th Anniversary, Baltimore Opera Company’s 50th Anniversary Chair, Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle charter member, Boys Hope Girls Hope and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. She is currently on the Board of the Enoch Pratt Library and serves on the Peabody National Advisory Council.
Ms. Bozzuto’s interests include studying and performing classical piano, collecting contemporary art, and needlepoint. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Marymount College and a Teacher Certification from Yamaha Music School. Ms. Bozzuto lives with her husband Thomas and has two children and six grandchildren.
About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world’s most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives.
The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop’s leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.
In recent years, Marin Alsop and the BSO have been regularly invited to Carnegie Hall, including Maestra Alsop’s debut in February 2008, a critically acclaimed appearance later the same year to perform Bernstein’s Mass, further performances in November 2010 and again in November 2011 for a performance of Honegger’s dramatic oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au Bucher. The Orchestra under Maestra Alsop undertook their first domestic tour in March 2012 to the West Coast, including a three-day residency at the University of California, Berkeley.
For more than 80 years, the BSO has maintained a vibrant educational presence throughout Maryland, supporting the local community not only through concerts and recordings, but also through its commitment to actively giving back with its education, outreach and mentorship programs. The 2013-2014 season marks the sixth year of OrchKids™, a year-round in-school and after-school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City’s neighborhoods. OrchKids provides music education, instruments and tutoring to Baltimore’s underserved children at no cost. Since its start in 2008, the program has grown from 30 students to more than 750 student participants throughout five schools in Baltimore City. In 2012, the BSO launched Orchlab, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools. This music-in-schools program for elementary, middle and high school students in Montgomery County was created to enrich the instrumental music program in schools within the MCPS system that have the greatest need, as well as to provide professional development opportunities for MCPS music instructors. In the 2012-2013 academic year, Orchlab was piloted in 23 schools located in the Downcounty and Northeast Consortia of the MCPS System. Orchlab is an outgrowth of BSO on the Go, the Orchestra’s education outreach program that has provided more than 12,000 students with classroom instruction and performances from BSO musicians since that program’s start five years ago.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Inc. is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is also supported by the Citizens of Baltimore County and Baltimore City.