Gary Ginstling has a nearly 20-year career as an orchestra leader, with a strong track record of increasing ticket sales and fundraising, developing innovative programming, and building community ties. He became Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic on November 1, 2022, and will succeed Deborah Borda as President and CEO on July 1, 2023. Previously, Ginstling served as executive Director of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in Washington, DC, from 2017 to 2022. Shortly after his arrival, the NSO launched the tenure of music director Gianandrea Noseda, who has ushered in a new era of enthusiasm, energetic performances, and critical acclaim. After only 18 months, Ginstling succeeded in extending Noseda’s contract through 2025, and a second extension through 2027 was announced in June 2022. By Noseda’s third season, Ginstling had grown overall ticket sales by 21 percent, subscriptions by 15 percent, and fundraising by 23 percent, and raised a special fund of more than $11 million to support his work with the orchestra. Shortly after Noseda’s arrival, The Economist ran a feature on Noseda and the NSO with the headline “An Italian Maestro Makes Magic in Washington DC.”
Prior to joining the NSO, Ginstling served as the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) for five years. Under his leadership, the ISO’s income from ticket sales grew more than 80% percent, attendance increased in each season, the number of student attendees more than doubled, and contributed income grew by 45 percent. In addition, he helped establish a number of new community initiatives to increase access to the orchestra, including the launch of the ISO’s first ever “INfusion” music festival, which celebrated the links between music and the environment, and the “Lunch Break” series of 45-minute informal concerts.
Before joining the ISO, Ginstling served as general manager of The Cleveland Orchestra, from 2008 to 2013. In Cleveland, he oversaw the $10 million sale of 600 acres of land to the federal government. His duties included overall executive responsibility for operations of Cleveland Orchestra activities, including artistic planning, concert production, touring, labor contracts, education, electronic media, and operation of the two Cleveland Orchestra–owned facilities, Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. Ginstling’s leadership experience also included serving as director of communications and external affairs for the San Francisco Symphony, where he created and planned the San Francisco Symphony’s first-ever family concert celebrating Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and serving as executive director of the Berkeley Symphony for three years.
Prior to launching his career in orchestra management, Gary Ginstling spent three years in marketing at Sun Microsystems. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University, a master of music degree from The Juilliard School, and a master of business administration from The Anderson School at UCLA. Ginstling currently serves on the board of the League of American Orchestras, previously served on the boards of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and The Columbia Club, and is an alumnus of the National Arts Strategies CEO program and a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Signature Program Class of 2021.