After a national search process, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has named Linda Edelstein as the organization's new executive director. The selection follows the announcement of the retirement of Fran Richman who has served MYSO in the executive director role for 24 years. "Linda is a perfect match for what MYSO is today and will be the exceptional leader we need to guide MYSO's future growth," MYSO Board President Patrick Rath notes. "Her wealth of knowledge about Milwaukee's arts community and non-profit expertise will well position MYSO to serve more youth and further our mission to change lives through music education."
Richman elaborates: "Linda brings an ideal set of talents, passions and experiences to this position, and I am truly thrilled! I'm absolutely confident that she and our exceptional staff will take MYSO to new heights and into exciting new territory, while preserving the great core of the 57-year-old organization."
"Linda is passionate about music and about providing great opportunities for young people... a perfect fit for MYSO," notes Carter Simmons, Artistic Director. "Her excellence as a leader and musician will ensure MYSO stays instrumental in changing the lives of young people across Southeastern Wisconsin. The whole MYSO family is delighted."
Ms. Edelstein is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). In that role, she has been responsible for overseeing an annual budget of $10M, managing daily operations, serving as the liaison with UPAF member organizations and working with the UPAF President, community leaders and the campaign cabinet to frame the annual campaign process and engage the community for the benefit of the arts. She was also responsible for oversight of the organization's largest signature fundraising event, the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite.
Prior to her work at UPAF, Ms. Edelstein was the Executive Director of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra (now Wisconsin Philharmonic) for seven years, at which she created the organization's "Success Through Music" program that engaged children from diverse backgrounds to discover their potential through music education.
Ms. Edelstein has an Executive MBA from Marquette University, a Master of Music from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was an Irving S. Gilmore Fellow at Yale and currently performs as an oboist and English hornist with Milwaukee's Present Music. Ms. Edelstein has also worked as a music faculty member at UW-Whitewater, UW-Oshkosh, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Hartland Music Center, Yale University and in a private studio. She has a demonstrated passion for and deep understanding of the mission of MYSO, having been an active member of MYSO, then Music For Youth.
"I am delighted to join the MYSO team to lead the organization as we continue to be instrumental in changing lives," said Edelstein. "I can think of no greater honor than to advance the impact MYSO has on our future generations through high quality music education. I am grateful to champion the legacy Fran Richman has created over the years, as well as expand the opportunities available to all."
Transition details are being finalized, and MYSO expects to have Ms. Edelstein join the staff in the fall.