Press Room

Vail Music Festival names James W. Palermo next executive director

Argie Tang, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, announced today that James W. Palermo has been appointed as the next executive director of the Vail Music Festival. He succeeds John Giovando, who has held the Festival’s chief executive post since its inception in 1987.
James Palermo assumes the position of executive director designate of the Vail Music Festival and will work closely with Giovando in a transitional period through the Festival’s 25th anniversary season this summer in Vail. Palermo begins his tenure as executive director on September 1, 2012.
“I thank the search committee and the board of trustees for the opportunity to serve the Vail Music Festival as executive director,” said Palermo. “I look forward to building on the vision and achievements of John Giovando, artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott, and the board, and to move the Festival to the next phase in its service to the community. I have worked my entire career in classical music and have a deep love for the art form. It has been a passion of mine since a very young age.”
“Jim is an excellent fit for the Festival and the Vail community,” said Tang. “We are confident that artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott and Jim together will continue to raise the level of excellence the Festival has already established.”
Palermo continued, “This is truly a great Festival and its evolution under the artistic leadership of Anne-Marie McDermott is visionary. In my nearly 25-year arts management career, I consider this the ultimate opportunity. The Festival has three world-class resident orchestras, fantastic chamber music, Vail’s intrinsic beauty, and great potential for increased participation. Anne-Marie and I have had in-depth conversations about the future and I am eager to collaborate closely with her, others in the organization, and the community.”
McDermott commented, “I want to commend the board and the search committee for their wisdom and insight throughout this search. Finding a worthy successor to John Giovando after 25 years was no easy matter. I am thrilled at the appointment of Jim Palermo as the next executive director for the Vail Music Festival. His tremendous enthusiasm, passion, and commitment, in combination with his extensive experience in both the festival and orchestral worlds, will be great assets to the Festival and to the community. It is such an honor and privilege for me to be serving as the artistic director of this unique organization and I greatly look forward to collaborating with Jim on shaping its future.”
James W. Palermo was appointed to the position of president and CEO of the Colorado Symphony Association in 2009. During his tenure he posted the largest increases in subscription, single ticket, and contributed revenues in the organization’s history. Prior to the Colorado Symphony appointment, Palermo spent 14 years leading the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. As the chief executive, Palermo had a key role in the development of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the festival’s permanent home since 2004. He formed the Grant Park Orchestral Association, a not-for-profit organization to support the festival’s activities, and assembled the Association’s first board of directors. He developed partnerships with arts and cultural organizations throughout the city and secured sponsorships from leading foundations and corporations. Since Grant Park concerts are free to the public, Palermo developed a membership program to generate significant earned revenue in support of festival activities. He currently resides in Denver and will move to Vail, Colorado, in September.
About the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival was founded in 1987 by John Giovando, an attorney with a love of classical music, with eminent violinist Ida Kavafian. Through world-class performances, dedicated leadership, and generous support from the community, the Festival has grown from attracting a handful of attendees to an annual audience of more than 60,000. More than 30 distinguished soloists visit the Vail Valley to perform in chamber ensembles and as soloists with the three world-class resident orchestras. Running from late June through early August, Vail Music Festival presents the highest level of music-making in spectacular Vail Valley venues, touching the lives of thousands of people – many of whom come to the area specifically to experience the pleasures of the Festival and the beauty of the majestic Rocky Mountains. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns observes, “Few if any classical music institutions west of the Mississippi have flourished as Bravo! has.”
Follow Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival on Twitter
Follow Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival on Facebook 

Return to Press Room