BACKSTAGE BIO- Susan Anderson, General Manager

BACKSTAGE BIO- Susan Anderson, General Manager


1. How long have you been with SWFLSO? Just this season. I started full time in November after moving here from California.

2. Where were you before here, and what brought you to Fort Myers? I held the same position, General Manager, at the Santa Barbara Symphony the last 7 years. When the same position opened up here, it gave me to the opportunity to continue working with Nir Kabaretti (Music Director of both orchestras), get to know another great orchestra, and to be in the same city as my family, who have lived in Fort Myers for over 20 years.

3. What other jobs have you held besides your current position with us? For many years I have been a consultant or held interim advisory positions with other orchestras – as General Manager (Atlanta, Detroit and Memphis Symphonies), and as Tour Manager of many others. Before that, I was 20 years as Director of Operations and Touring with the Baltimore Symphony, Tour Manager of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Assistant to the General Manager of the New York Philharmonic.

4. Best/ most memorable SWFLSO experience? Wouldn’t call it the best, but most memorable is certainly having to find a replacement soprano for the Verdi Requiem with only 5 or 6 hours notice. Absolutely amazing that we found someone who was so fabulous, but it was a bit of a panic for a while!

5. What is your favorite piece or composer? I’ve always loved the music of Brahms (which we haven’t played yet in my time at SWFLSO) but especially love the big orchestral masterworks like Symphonie Fantastique that ends this season or Holst’s The Planets that begins next year.

6. Are you also a musician? Yes, I am a clarinetist. During my time at the Baltimore Symphony I also taught clarinet and coached chamber music at Goucher College. Currently I keep up my playing by being a member of the Bonita Springs Concert Band, which I’m really enjoying.

7. What is your favorite pastime outside of music? I like being outdoors – hiking, rowing and cycling in particular- and am looking forward to enjoying outdoor Florida. So far I’ve discovered hiking on the trails in Lovers Key, rowing with the Caloosa Coast Rowing Club in Cape Coral, and biking with the Caloosa Riders Cycling Club.

8. What is something that is surprising about you? My husband, a violinist, and I used to own a vineyard in southern Pennsylvania, outside of Baltimore, where we grew 5 acres of cabernet, cab franc, merlot and chardonnay grapes which we sold to Pennsylvania wineries. And I used to be on the board of the Pennsylvania Association of Winegrape Growers.

9. Favorite food? Italian

10. Favorite Activity: Travel. One great joy I’ve gotten from my orchestra experience is being able to travel on orchestra tours around the world – to Asia (China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan), all around Europe, South America, and even the former Soviet Union. I hope to get this orchestra on tour someday!