For 13 seasons, Diane Salisbury has been in the thick of it. Whether it’s pulling off a show with over 300 people on stage or taking an orchestra out of the theatre and into in the Japanese Friendship Garden, there is no such thing as a typical day for the executive director of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus. And that’s probably what she’ll miss the most.
Salisbury, who came on as LJS&C’s executive director in 2006, announced that she will retire this June, at the end of the current season. She originally joined the organization back in 1993 as a member of the board of directors, serving as the board’s president for a term. In an interview with the La Jolla Village News, she revealed her favorite parts about the job.
“The excitement and adventure that comes at the start of a new season, and the people,” she said. “They inspire me every day."
And the feeling is mutual. President of the LJS&C’s board of directors Pat Finn credits Salisbury for bringing financial stability to the organization — by way of the $1.5 million endowment she established that nearly doubled the symphony's budget — and will miss her artistic sensibility and killer memory.
“She remembers every detail, every budget, who does this and who does that,” Finn said.
Steven Schick, LJS&C’s music director and world-renowned percussionist said in a press release that because of Salisbury’s leadership, they’re all “much better as artists and as community members."
"Diane Salisbury is a consummate arts administrator,” Schick said. “She brings together that rare combination of organizational acumen with the knowledge of and love for the music we make….the current health and vitality of our organization are the fruits of Diane's work.”
Finn said that the organization has only just begun its search for Salisbury’s replacement. Anyone with the proper experience who is interested in applying can visit lajollasymphony.com.