Isaac Thompson is Vice President, Artistic Planning, of the New York Philharmonic. He has led a multifaceted career as performer, writer, educator, and arts administrator. Appointed director of Artistic Administration for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati May Festival in February 2015, Mr. Thompson was responsible for creating and implementing a wide variety of artistic initiatives, including season programming, commissioning, special artistic projects, and recording projects in collaboration with music director Louis Langrée. Notable achievements included spearheading the CSO’s innovative Pelléas Trilogy with director / designer James Darrah, as well as launching a new artistic model for the Cincinnati May Festival, resulting in the appointment of Juanjo Mena as principal conductor and Gerard McBurney as the first-ever creative partner. Before he joined the CSO, Isaac Thompson served as vice president of Artistic Planning for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) for three years, in addition to serving as the MSO’s program note annotator for two seasons. While in Milwaukee, he partnered with music director Edo de Waart in producing a much-lauded cycle of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas, as well as creating the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Composer Institute in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Thompson was a member of the artistic team of Music@Menlo, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier chamber music festival, where he worked directly with artistic directors and Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. There he was involved in season planning, leading pre-concert discussion events, writing program notes, and helping to design the festival’s annual Winter Residency program. Mr. Thompson has consulted on artistic projects with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Miró Quartet, ArtistLed, and The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and he has given lectures at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States. As a violinist, Isaac Thompson has performed prolifically, appearing at such festivals as Aspen, Round Top, Great Mountains (South Korea), Opera and Music Theater of Lucca (Italy), Chautauqua, and Northern Lights Chamber Music Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music and The University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a graduate teaching fellow in music.
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