Opera Conference 2014: Audiences Reimagined

Leadership Begins at the Top
Strong opera companies have strong boards led by volunteers who devote time and resources to advance company missions. JOHN GUNN, chairman of San Francisco Opera, will kick off a panel of board leaders including KENNETH G. PIGOTT, president of Lyric Opera of Chicago, and CAROL HENRY, chairman of Los Angeles Opera’s Executive Committee. Hear a lively discussion about new works, new audiences and financial stability from the trustee perspective.

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Speaker Information
JOHN GUNN, chairman, San Francisco Opera
John A. Gunn is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Dodge and Cox Investment Managers. Mr. Gunn has been a San Francisco Opera subscriber since 1988 and joined the board of directors in 2002. He and his wife Cynthia are Company Sponsors and have underwritten many San Francisco Opera productions, including the world premieres of Appomattox and The Bonesetter's Daughter, as well as new productions of La Forza del Destino, The Maid of Orleans, and Le Grande Macabre, among others. He became Chairman of the San Francisco Opera in 2008. Mr. Gunn is a trustee of Stanford University and also vice chairman of the Stanford Hospital Trustees board He is chairman of the Advisory Council for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR).

KENNETH G. PIGOTT, president, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago's Board of Directors unanimously elected Kenneth G. Pigott as its president and chief executive officer in May 2011. Previously, Pigott served as executive vice president of Lyric's Board (2010-11) and chair of Lyric's production sponsorship committee (2000-11). He has served on the executive committee since 2000 and sits on all of Lyric's standing committees. He chaired the eight-month international search that resulted in Lyric hiring Anthony Freud as general director in 2011. He also led the discussions with soprano Renée Fleming that culminated in her becoming creative consultant to Lyric in December 2010. Pigott joined Lyric's Board of Directors in 1997.

Pigott's career includes more than 40 years of operational, investing, acquisition, and finance experience. He is managing partner of Vaduz Partners LLC, a private investment company specializing in information technology services. He has led multiple successful private investments involving business transformations of several companies.

Pigott was a corporate partner at the Winston & Strawn law firm (1968-79). He graduated from Iowa State University and Harvard University Law School.

Pigott serves on the board of Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago's Merit School of Music, and is a board member of Opera America. Pigott, along with his wife, Jane DiRenzo Pigott, also actively support the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, the Harris Theater, and the Chicago High School for the Arts (Chi Arts). They also support health, education, and civil rights initiatives including infectious disease research and clinical services at Northwestern University, the Young Women's Leadership Charter School, Reading in Motion, and the Civil Rights Center of the University of North Carolina.
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