The Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has selected Dr. Andrea F. Warren as President and CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on December 1, 2022.
Dr. Warren’s selection marks a historic feature for the field of classical music as she becomes the first Black women to serve as CEO at a leading symphony orchestra in the United States and Canada, and correspondingly, one of the few African Americans to serve in an executive leadership role for an orchestra. Her appointment is predated by her immeasurable experience as a community leader, educator, and advocate for the arts. Dr. Warren was most recently employed as Executive Director at The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. Responsible for overseeing and providing thoughtful guidance for the daily operations and expansion of the program, Dr. Warren also led the school through the renovation of its permanent home. Her authentic engagement and immersion with Virginian communities is visible through the other academic benefactors under her leadership, including Plaza Middle School as Principal and Bayside High and Middle School as Assistant Principal.
A profound and dedicated educator within academic institutions, Dr. Warren’s accomplishments are notably recognized across the business and arts field. She was awarded the 2018 “5- for 50” Arts Inspiration Award by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and named in 2013 one of 10 Leading Ladies in Hampton Roads Magazine. Dr. Warren is distinguished serving on the Hurrah Player’s Board of Directors, the Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation Board, and the Virginia Musical Theatre Board of Directors, to name a few. She received a doctor of philosophy in educational leadership and policy studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master of science in educational leadership at Old Dominion University, and a bachelor of science at Norfolk State University.
In making the announcement, chair of the VSO’s Board of Directors Mike McClellan said, “We are incredibly thrilled to welcome Dr. Warren’s leadership of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She quickly impressed the search committee with her experience and commitment to our mission. Her record of leadership in the performing arts will be an invaluable asset to the VSO.”
The performing arts are such an integral part of my family and my life’s work, and it’s an honor to lead the region’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organization,” Dr. Warren said. “I deeply appreciate the VSO’s commitment to challenging the expectations and pushing the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be, and I’m both passionate and mindful about the important role our work plays in educating, enriching and inspiring the community through music.”
“The ACG team and I are very grateful for the wonderful collaboration with the board, staff, musicians, and music director at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and we extend my warmest congratulations to Dr. Warren on her new role,” said ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau. “We look forward to the dynamic artistic and managerial leadership team who will play a pivotal role in guiding thoughtful and proactive change to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.”