Giorgia Ghizzoni plans for the continued growth and development of the orchestra
By Peter Alexander Jan. 14 at 3:00 p.m.
Italian native Giorgia Ghizzoni, the new executive director of the Longmont Symphony, feels right at home.
“There’s such an Italian feel to Longmont in the sense of community,” she says. “We found it so welcoming and inclusive. A few months was enough for us to realize that we would like to call Longmont home.”
Ghizzoni took up her duties Jan. 7, succeeding Kay Lloyd, who retired from the position after 12 years as executive director. Lloyd remains with the orchestra as principal flute and is the orchestra librarian.
“Thank God she will still be there,” Ghizzoni says. “She promised she’s going to be there in case I have questions. She has been such an asset and a value to the organization.”
Ghizzoni has an extensive background in music and business. She received a bachelor’s degree in cello performance in Italy and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from the Utrecht (Netherlands) School of Economics. She studied arts management in Finland, and has lived in Switzerland, New York, and most recently, Sonoma County, California.
Her professional experience includes work in community outreach and audience development at Carnegie Hall and as an intern at Alliance Artist Management in New York. She also established Experience Classical Music! (ExClaM!), a company focused on artist development.
In a press release, LSO board president Robert Pilkey was quoted saying “She has an impressive musical background, stellar administrative skills, fundraising experience and an abundance of energy. She also has an appreciation for the community’s long-held love affair with its symphony orchestra.”
Ghizzoni arrives only a year and half after the arrival of the orchestra’s new music director, Elliot Moore. “Giorgia and LSO’s music director Elliot Moore speak the same language and will make a great partnership,” Pilkey wrote.
Now that she has the job, Ghizzoni has lots of ideas for the orchestra. “The Longmont Symphony is an organization full of people with gigantic hearts,” she says. “I think of the LSO as an ambassador and identity of the City of Longmont itself: fast development, new people coming in from all walks, and expansion in a welcoming and inclusive way. And everybody is looking forward to improving themselves and to being more and more meaningful to more and more people, and this is just fantastic.
“The Longmont Symphony used to be a community orchestra. In one and half years it became a semi-professional orchestra, and with this change come a lot of new needs that need to be addressed. Now we need fund raising, major sponsorship, more collaboration, so lots of research to be done. [There are] younger patrons that we would like to touch with the gift of music, so how about being active on social media? All of this is a new definition of what an executive director will do from now on.”
Ghizzoni fell into the position almost by accident—a lucky accident, as it turns out. She was living in Longmont and wanted to meet the director of the local orchestra. “I’m an artist developer,” she says. “If some of his orchestra musicians need me in whatever sense, I’m here.” So she and Moore met before she knew that the LSO had a position open.
“We speak for five minutes, and he’s like, ‘I’m confused. I thought you wanted to meet me about the job opening.’ ‘What job opening?’ ‘You don’t know that we just opened our executive director position?’ No, I had no idea.”
To Ghizzoni, becoming the executive director of an orchestra looked like the perfect next step in her career. “I told the search committee on my last interview ‘I was this and I was that, I was an artist developer, but I have never been the executive director of a symphony orchestra. That’s exactly my next level.’”
With all of her past travels—Italy to Finland to Netherlands to Switzerland to the US—Ghizzoni has been a bit of a nomad. How likely is she to stay put in Longmont?
“I will just tell you this much,” she says. “We were here a couple of months and we bought a house.”