NEW Bag Size Restrictions starting 1/1/2023: The Phoenix Convention Center and Venues are implementing a restricted bag size policy at Symphony Hall and The Orpheum.

No bags larger than clutch size (4.5″ x 6.5″) will be permitted. Medical and diaper bags will be allowed. Thank you for understanding.

The Phoenix Symphony Board of Directors Appoint Jim Ward President and CEO

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Symphony Association’s Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Jim Ward as President and CEO of the Symphony.   Ward has served as interim President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony since January, 2011. 

“Jim Ward has demonstrated the ability to manage virtually every aspect of the organization and restore fiscal responsibility to the Symphony,” said C.A. Howlett, Chairman of the Board for The Phoenix Symphony.  “He brings the leadership the organization needs at this time in its history and we are honored that he will continue to lead us towards a sustainable future.” 

During this past year, Ward restructured the organization and reduced operating costs by $1.5 million, which included renegotiating a contract with the Association’s musicians union where the members agreed to sacrifice a restoration of previous salary cuts.  Under Ward’s leadership, the Symphony created a new vision, mission and values defining its critical role in economic and cultural development as the largest Arts organization in Arizona.  Ward also rebranded the Symphony, launched a new website and realigned its volunteer organizations.   In an effort to stabilize and sustain live performing arts in Arizona, Ward is working with the Arizona Ballet and the Arizona Opera on collaborative initiatives to strengthen all three organizations.

“Jim has created a renewed spirit of goodwill with my fellow musicians through an open, honest and collaborative management style that gives us confidence in the future of our Symphony.  We endorse and are pleased that Jim will be staying on as the President and CEO,” said Chuck Berginc, Chairman of the Musician’s Committee.

Ward is responsible for a significant turn around in both earned and contributed revenue for this year’s successful season.  He created strategic plans for the organization including the expansion of its education programs for Arizona’s school children, programs for the health care community, building a stronger connection with audiences and engaging new listeners all while reducing costs.  These programs have resulted in new or increased support from many donors and an expanded Board of Directors.

“I am delighted to continue to serve as CEO of The Phoenix Symphony.  I have come to value the true partnerships that have been created with our musicians, Michael Christie, our board, staff and this wonderful community.  This opportunity also allows me to focus on two key passions of mine –music and business- and is a perfect way for me to give something back to our great state of Arizona,” said Jim Ward, President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony.  “Together, we’ll strive to continue our mission of providing the joy of music to feed the souls of our community, bolster our cultural economy and strengthen the next generation of a creative workforce to help make Arizona the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Jim Ward’s 30 year business career has placed him on the forefront of some of the most innovative and leading edge technologies in the world.  As a successful business leader, Ward has applied his vision, passion and straightforward approach contributing to the success of companies like Apple, Nike, Microsoft and Lucasfilm.  In the 2010 election, he was an Arizona Congressional candidate.  Ward is also a venture partner with the firm Alsop Louie Partners that focuses on early stage evernet/cloud technology start-ups.

A native of Rockford, Illinois, Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  Ward is a classically trained pianist who played the oboe and bassoon but readily agrees that he won’t be playing for The Phoenix Symphony anytime soon. Ward and his wife Dawne have two daughters and they reside in Scottsdale.

For more information about The Phoenix Symphony visit www.phoenixsymphony.org.