Classical Gas Attack: After DSO President's Abrupt Adios, a Native Gets the Baton

Categories: Arts
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Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Doug Adams, left, with film composer James Newton Howard
arlier this afternoon, Dallas Symphony Orchestra president Doug Adams told Dallas Morning News classical music critic Scott Cantrell why he's leaving within the next 30 days: "I've been trapped in a real estate deal I can't get out of," said Adams referring to a home in Denver, where his wife still lives, "and I don't see that changing." And so, he's outta here. The DSO just made it official with a release that follows, in which the reasons for Adams's departure are described only as "personal," no further details.

But the DSO does provide one bit of breaking news -- the name of Adams's replacement following his two-year tenure: Dallas native Paul Stewart, currently the chief operating officer at the DSO, a St. Mark's grad and the president of the Dallas Texans youth soccer club. Adams's resignation comes on the heels of two recent DSO cancellations, including a last-minute decision to pull the plug on a Smokey Robinson concert at the Meyerson. Explained John O'Dell, DSO's vice president of marketing, it was expensive to put on, and the cancellation was a prudent fiscal decision during a challenging time for the DSO: "We have to balance that with the financial position and not taking on any more debt."

The problem, of course, isn't limited solely to the DSO: The entire AT&T Performing Arts Center is "facing some financial challenges," as AT&TPAC chair Howard Hallam told Unfair Park only a few weeks ago, following the just-as-abrupt resignation of president and CEO Mark Nerenhausen. And Nerenhausen, of course, resigned one month after Dallas Theater Center managing director Mark Hadley turned in his walking papers.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra President Douglas W. Adams Resigns

Dallas, TX - August 17, 2010 - The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced today that it has accepted the resignation for personal reasons of President Douglas W. Adams, effective September 15, 2010. Adams will be returning home to join his wife in Denver, CO. Dallas Symphony Orchestra Chief Operating Officer Paul Stewart assumes the position of president September 16, 2010.

"Doug helped the DSO reach significant artistic goals during his two years at the helm, including extending Music Director Jaap van Zweden's contract and naming world-renowned pianist and composer Marvin Hamlisch as the DSO's principal pops conductor," said Ron Gafford, chairman of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Directors. "We are deeply thankful to Doug for his hard work - he will be missed."

Gafford continued, "Paul Stewart and his wife Melissa are longtime supporters of the DSO and they are deeply rooted in the Dallas community. Paul has been engaged in helping the DSO study its current operations and is already working closely with Doug, Jaap and the senior management team in his current role as COO. We feel confident that Paul's proven leadership ability and business acumen will help ensure a seamless transition."

"It has been such an honor to serve the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the past two years," said Adams. "Working with this exceptionally talented group of musicians, Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the dedicated board and staff of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has been an incredible experience and I am proud of what we have achieved."

Adams rejoined the DSO in September of 2008 after previously working at the DSO as general manager from 1999 to 2002 under former DSO President Eugene Bonelli. In the interim, he worked as president of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for six years. Prior to his appointment at the Dallas Symphony as general manager, Adams had a highly successful career in television. For nine years he was the president and general manager of KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth--recognized as one of the most successful television operations in the United States.

ABOUT PAUL STEWART

Paul Stewart (54) grew up in Dallas and graduated from St. Mark's School of Texas. He earned a BA and MA from Stanford University, and a law degree from University of Texas. He practiced international business law, and was a partner in Baker & McKenzie, the world's largest law firm. Stewart left his law practice for a business opportunity, becoming president of a leading German medical device manufacturer in the fields of facial reconstruction, neurosurgery and precision radiotherapy. Stewart helped arrange the sale of the company to Pfizer and then served within Pfizer as the worldwide president of that company and as a member of the management board of Howmedica, a $1 billion Pfizer subsidiary in the orthopedic market. Following his time at Pfizer, Stewart helped found a venture capital fund investing in technology companies in the healthcare industry. He also helped found two start-up nutritional supplement companies that he later merged into a high quality manufacturing company in Dallas, in which he served as chairman of the board.

Since 2003, Stewart has also spent a significant amount of his time as the volunteer president of the Dallas Texans Soccer Club, a non-profit organization that is one of the largest youth soccer clubs in America, with affiliates in three states and Canada and over 20,000 players. It is perennially ranked number one or two in the country for both boys and girls. Stewart has been a member of the Young President's Organization/World President's Organization since 1994 and is the current chairman of the Dallas chapter of the WPO. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Dallas Cup/Dallas is Diversity, the chairman of the Dallas board of the Positive Coaching Alliance, and a former member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mark's School of Texas.

ABOUT THE DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, presents the finest in classical and pop music, new music and family and holiday concerts at the internationally heralded Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to the pursuit of uncompromising musical distinction through innovative and classical programming, seeking to enlighten and inspire the broadest possible audience. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the DSO's involvement with the City of Dallas extends to educational programs, community concerts, complimentary ticket distribution and children's programming. The DSO has grown from a 40-person ensemble to a world-class orchestra since its inception in 1900, and continues to be the cornerstone of the burgeoning Arts District in downtown Dallas; a district now noted as the largest in the nation.

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