Martha S. Gilmer, chief executive officer of the San Diego Symphony. Symphony photo

The San Diego Symphony announced Thursday that its new chief executive officer will be Martha S. Gilmer, a longtime executive at the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

“Martha has shown herself to be a strong and creative leader. Her name in the music world is synonymous with great artistic vision, dynamic leadership, and audience development through original programming,” said Shearn Platt, chairman of the symphony’s board of directors.

“As the San Diego Symphony is poised for a new era, we are certain that Martha is the right person to lead us in the years ahead.”

Gilmer said she looks forward to the new challenge and to becoming part of the San Diego cultural community. Her three-year contract begins Sept. 24.

“The San Diego Symphony has impressed me artistically and with its commitment to the San Diego community,” she said. “The board leadership is passionate about music, and believes that the music and the musicians are at the core of the orchestra’s mission, which is critically important.”

Gilmer’s career at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra spans 35 years and three music directors — Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim and Riccardo Muti. She is currently vice president of artistic planning and audience development.

“We are very fortunate to have attracted Martha Gilmer to San Diego,” said Music Director Jahja Ling. “Her excellent work in Chicago is internationally recognized, and her commitment to music is strong and proven.”

Gilmer succeeds Edward “Ward” Gill, who is leaving after 10 years as CEO.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.