Dallas Symphony Executive Board, Board of Governors, Supporters make bold statement of confidence in leadership



Dallas, Texas (October 22, 2021) – At the Annual Meeting of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors and Trustees on Thursday, October 21, 2021, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced a new $7.5 million fundraising initiative that will continue the momentum of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and support the ongoing innovation and artistic excellence it is currently pursuing. To date, $6.5 million has been raised.

This initiative is being spearheaded by members of the DSO’s Executive Board to recognize the exceptional leadership of Ross Perot President & CEO Kim Noltemy and provide vital support needed to offset the decline in ticket sales and other revenues caused by COVID-19. In a statement of support, the Executive Board will name the Young Musicians program, which Noltemy founded, in her honor.

“In her role as President & CEO, Kim Noltemy has been the driving force behind numerous achievements,” said Cece Smith, Chair of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors. “This campaign signals a strong statement from the DSO’s Executive Board and the broader DSO family about our confidence in Kim’s leadership and the direction in which she is taking the organization. Her exceptional leadership and vision have been instrumental in creating an unprecedented level of success and excitement for the DSO, particularly as she led the organization through the challenges of the pandemic.”

The DSA acknowledges and expresses its gratitude for the long-time supporters who have contributed to this initiative.

Leadership Gifts: Diane and Hal Brierley, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, The Jeanne R. Johnson Foundation, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, the O’Donnell Foundation, Margot Perot, Stan Rabin in Loving Memory of Barbara Rabin and Martha McCarty Wells.

Patron Gifts: Henry and Lucy Billingsley, Capital One and Cece and Ford Lacy.

Supporting Gifts: Ron and Rebecca Gafford, Marena and Roger Gault, Linda and Mitch Hart, Yon Yoon Jorden, Holly and Tom Mayer, The Brian J. Ratner Foundation, Robinson Family, Diana and Sam Self, Norma and Don Stone, Becky and Brad Todd and Karen and Jim Wiley.

Noltemy has put the DSO on the path to establish itself artistically as one of the leading orchestras in the country and greatly enhance its brand value, both locally and nationally. The organization is well on its way to significantly expand its audience base and the number of people served by its community and education programs. Her fiscal planning will create long-term financial sustainability through a variety of earned and contributed revenue strategies.

“Last season, the DSO displayed unmatched resiliency by being one of the only orchestras in the country to maintain a full concert calendar and continue its service to the community, allowing the soul of our city to shine even during hardship” said Sanjiv Yajnik, Immediate Past Chair of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors. “Kim’s leadership established the DSO as a leader in the nation for navigating trying times by connecting with its audiences through art and performance. Dallas has an orchestra to be very proud of, one that represents our great city on the national stage.”

“I am very happy and proud that our fantastic Young Musician Program will be named after our CEO, Kim Noltemy,” said Music Director Fabio Luisi (Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship). “This is a tangible recognition of the unbelievable work she has done for these young musicians and for this exceptional organization. Kim’s passion and love for these young people, and her view of music as a way to educate, unite and connect shall be an example for generations to come.”

Since her arrival in January 2018, Noltemy has made significant progress to move the DSO into the future. Artistically, she secured a five-year contract with Fabio Luisi, one of the world’s most sought-after music directors, and extended it to 10 years during the first year of his tenure. Financially, she led the DSO to significantly increased ticket sales revenue prior to the pandemic. She also improved the financial stability of the DSO in each of the first three Fiscal Years of her tenure and reduced the DSO’s long-held structural operating deficit.

In the fall of 2019, Noltemy led a successful effort for the DSA to assume management control of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center from the City of Dallas. Since that time, she has overseen substantial deferred maintenance improvements and revitalized the I. M. Pei-designed building, which was recently ranked among the Top 10 concert halls in the world, as a hub of arts and community activity. Institutionally, she has positioned the DSO as a citizen in Dallas with the launch of the Young Musicians program, which provides free instruments and lessons for more than 500 students in Southern Dallas. This broad-based initiative is inspired by the El Sistema program, which uses music to further social equity and to nurture the child and his or her entire community.


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents world-class orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, one of the world’s top-rated concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children annually through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. During the pandemic, the Dallas Symphony was one of a few major U.S. orchestras to present socially distanced concerts with live audiences throughout the 2020/21 Season. Furthermore, the orchestra has offered more than 200 outdoor chamber concerts in neighborhoods throughout the Metroplex.

The DSO continued online music lessons to more than 300 students as part of its Young Strings and Young Musicians programs and increased its online dissemination of concerts through a newly designed website and on social media. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 118-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks – the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Arts & Culture, City of Dallas.