Simon Woods

President and CEO
League of American Orchestras

Simon Woods joined the League of American Orchestras as President and CEO in September 2020. Born in London, England, Woods earned a degree in music from Cambridge University and a diploma in conducting from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, he worked as a record producer at EMI Classics in London, where he initiated and produced recordings at Abbey Road Studios and on location with many of the world’s foremost classical artists and ensembles. From 1997 to 2004, he was Artistic Administrator and later Vice President of Artistic Planning & Operations at The Philadelphia Orchestra. From 2004 to 2005, he was President & CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, before moving back to the UK in 2005 to become Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, one of the United Kingdom’s leading symphony orchestras.

Returning to the US in 2011, he became President & CEO of the Seattle Symphony, a post he held for seven years. In November 2017, Woods was appointed CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a post he held until September 2019. From February to August 2020, Woods was Interim Executive Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Woods brings more than 30 years of experience working with orchestras. He is deeply committed to equity, to the role of arts organizations in community, and to nurturing the next generation of arts leaders. He is known throughout the sector as a highly trusted mentor to orchestra management professionals, emerging leaders, and conductors. For two decades he has contributed to the League of American Orchestras’ professional development programs, including acting as Director of the League’s signature immersive training program, Essentials of Orchestra Management. In March 2020 he joined the Board of Directors of National Arts Strategies.

Simon Woods was honored to become an American citizen in 2018.

(September 2020; Photo credit: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging)

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