By MICHAEL KELLYMAN Chicago Symphony orchestra’s board of directors has approved the hiring of a new director, in a bid to revive the orchestra amid criticism over the leadership of former President Barack Obama.
In a letter to the Chicago Symphony board of trustees on Tuesday, board member Tom Vercetti said he had chosen Robert Schaller to lead the Chicago Orchestra.
The orchestra will also add a new executive director in the coming months.
Schaller will replace a longtime president, George H.W. Bush, who stepped down after two terms to pursue a new career as a philanthropist.
Schaler’s appointment follows the resignation of Chicago Symphony conductor David Zaslav after two years in the role.
He also had been in talks to succeed the current conductor, Andrew Haldeman.
Scholastic had been exploring a new name for the orchestra since former president Donald Trump announced his candidacy in May.
The move comes after Trump’s election in November sparked the largest protest in the history of the Chicago public school system and prompted calls for a new leadership.
Chicago Public Schools had long been considering a new conductor, but Trump’s candidacy was the catalyst for the re-evaluation of the school system’s finances.