Seattle Symphony's Leading Man is Leaving for Los Angeles

After helping lead the symphony's innovative label, President and CEO Simon Woods is out.
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Simon Woods (left) and recording engineer Dimitri Lipay helped bring Seattle Symphony Media to prominence.

It was announced Thursday morning that Simon Woods, the Seattle Symphony's President and CEO since 2011 is leaving in January and heading south to become the CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It's "musical chairs" in more than one sense: Woods replaces Deborah Borda, who left for the New York Philharmonic in September after 17 years in L.A.

Woods was one of the masterminds behind the orchestra's artistically successful, Grammy-winning recording label Seattle Symphony Media.

A search committee will be formed to find Woods’ replacement—someone, we hope, who will be as enthusiastic about the in-house label and the recordings, the primary legacy of Woods’ tenure. When he came to Seattle, Woods brought a decade of experience as a record producer with EMI Classics in London. The replacement will also have to negotiate the music-director transition from Ludovic Morlot, who is leaving after the 2018-19 season, and his podium successor Thomas Dausgaard.

Woods reflects, “After seven years of inspiration and friendship, the decision to leave the Seattle Symphony was extraordinarily difficult. But it’s tempered by the great sense of certainty I feel about the Symphony’s resilience and strength for the future. This is an organization that knows what it stands for, knows where it’s headed and knows how to get there. … I have no doubt whatsoever that the Seattle Symphony’s finest days still lie ahead.”

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