PORTLAND — Ari Solotoff, who helped lead the Portland Symphony Orchestra out of a deep financial morass, is leaving Portland for an administrative position with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Solotoff, 29, has served as executive director with the PS0 for four seasons. He will remain in Portland through the end of the current performance season in May. In Philadelphia, he will serve as chief of staff and director of planning, a new position created by recently installed president and CEO Allison Vulgamore.

“She called me and said, ‘We have this opportunity. Would you be open to it?’ It was neither solicited nor expected on my part,” Solotoff said today.

Solotoff is considered one of the top young administrators in the orchestra world. He became executive director in Portland at age 26, and in tandem with charismatic music director Robert Moody has helped the orchestra achieve a higher level of artistic excellence while engaging in long-term strategic planning. At the same time, he has guided the orchestra through a difficult period of financial uncertainty, resulting in the orchestra’s first balanced budget in several years.

Gordon Gayer, president of the orchestra’s board of trustees, said a national search for Solotoff’s replacement would begin immediately. It is likely, he said, that an interim executive director will be appointed while the search is ongoing.


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