The Board of Directors of Palm Beach Symphony has awarded five-year contract renewals to CEO David McClymont and Music Director Gerard Schwarz in recognition of their achievements in elevating the Symphony to one of national stature and in preparation for the non-profit orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Season this fall.
“We are proud to retain this extraordinary duo to continue leading the upward trajectory of Palm Beach Symphony,” said Board Chairman James Borynack. “David and his team have steered a community performing arts organization into one of the major cultural institutions in the Southeast and further fortified the Symphony’s fiscal foundation supporting its continued artistic growth under Maestro Schwarz. During the past few years, we have seen an expanded season, our first televised broadcasts, our first recording and what will soon be world premieres of five commissioned works.”
Since taking the post of CEO for Palm Beach Symphony in 2014, when the company had a deficit, McClymont has led the Symphony to six consecutive years of ending the season in the black and increasing its annual budget to $4.2 million. Perhaps the most visible sign of McClymont’s success is the Symphony’s move from a number of smaller halls to Palm Beach‘s signature venue, The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, where it is presenting an expanded schedule of six Masterworks concerts during the 2022-23 season in the 2195-seat Dreyfoos Hall.
Behind the scenes, McClymont steered an innovative pivot to a digital/hybrid model when concert halls were shut down during the pandemic that maintained and built on stakeholder engagement leading the Symphony to break all records last year and begin this season with more subscribers and members than ever before.
During his tenure, McClymont has also increased unearned income through corporate and community partnerships with, among others, Sinclair Broadcast Group, HSS Florida, Braman Motorcars Related Companies, Lugano Diamonds and NextJet as well as created new levels of donor engagement that includes the Impresario Society which underwrites major guest artists. He solicited the sponsorships necessary to create a vibrant educational program of children’s concerts, student coaching sessions, master classes, instrument donations and free public concerts that have reached more than 64,000 students in recent years.
Internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming and extensive catalog of recordings, Maestro Schwarz joined Palm Beach Symphony in 2019. Locally, he is also the Music Director of the Frost Symphony Orchestra and the Distinguished Professor of Music, Conducting and Orchestral Studies at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Nationally, he is the Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival and Mozart Orchestra of New York as well as Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival.
In recent Palm Beach Symphony seasons, Maestro Schwarz has significantly raised national recognition of the Symphony by creating programs featuring such world renowned guest artists as Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Garrick Ohlsson, Misha Dichter, Maria João Pires, Midori, Yefim Bronfman and Hélène Grimaud. In addition to adding more than a dozen works to Palm Beach Symphony’s repertoire, he has overseen the commission of five new works by American composers which will begin premiering this March with “Sojourn: Reflections on Thoreau” composed by Joseph Schwantner. He has also expanded concert programing during his tenure to include chamber concerts and this year’s first community performance of “The Messiah.”
In creating what will become an educational resource, Maestro Schwarz is taping the Symphony’s Dale A. McNulty Children’s Concert Series with two that are now available for national broadcast: “Eudora’s Fable: The Shoe Bird” and a new version of “The Adventures of Peter and The Wolf” narrated in English and Spanish by recording artist Jon Secada.
Maestro Schwarz also led the orchestra in four holiday concerts televised by Sinclair Broadcasting’s digital and streaming platforms and this December released the recording “Sounds of the Season,” produced by multi-GRAMMY ® and Latin GRAMMY Award-winning producer Carlos Fernando Lopez and distributed by LandL Entertainment and Sony Latin America.
A prolific recording artist with 14 GRAMMY Award nominations, Maestro Schwarz’s extensive catalogue of more than 350 recordings on 11 labels includes “The Gerard Schwarz Collection,” a 30-CD box set. In his five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Maestro Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades including nine Emmy® Awards, eight ASCAP Awards and numerous “Stereo Review” and Ovation Awards. He holds the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University, was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates. His memoir, “Behind the Baton,” was released by Amadeus Press in March 2017.
Proud sponsors of Palm Beach Symphony include Max and Christine Ansbacher, Mrs. James N. Bay, Alan Benaroya, JoAnne Berkow, David C. and Eunice Bigelow, Leslie Rogers Blum, James R. Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui/Findlay Galleries, Braman Motorcars, Thomas and Carol Bruce, CIBC Private Wealth, The Colony Hotel, The David Minkin Foundation, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Echo Fine Properties, Bill and Kem Frick/The Frick Foundation, Inc., Paul and Sandra Goldner, Peter and Felicia Gottsegen/Gottsegen Family Foundation, Irwin and Janet Gusman, Thomas E. Harvey & Cathleen P. Black Foundation, Doris Hastings Foundation, John Herrick, Addison Hines Charitable Trust, George Hines, HSS Florida, IYC, Charles and Ann Johnson/The C and A Johnson Family Foundation, Barbara and William Karatz Fund/William Karatz and Joan G. Smith, Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, Gary and Linda Lachman/The Lachman Family Foundation, Patricia Lambrecht, Tova Leidesdorf, Lugano Diamonds, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, The McNulty Charitable Foundation, David Moscow, NetJets, Palm Beach Design Masters, Patrick and Milly Park, Nancy and Ellis J. Parker, III, PNC Private Bank, Lois Pope, Provident Jewelry, Ari Rifkin, Karen and Kenneth Rogers, Ronald Rosenfeld, David Schafer, Seth Sprague Foundation, Robin B. Smith, Kimberly Strauss, Dodie and Manley Thaler and the Thaler/Howell Foundation, Jerome and Carol Trautschold, Sieglinde Wikstrom/The Wikstrom Foundation, and The Ann Eden Woodward Foundation/James and Judy Woods. Programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
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