YAKIMA, Wash. — Larry Kopp is out as executive director of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra six months after he was hired, despite increased attendance, donations and sponsorship revenue.
Kopp, who came to the YSO in June from the Altoona (Penn.) Symphony Orchestra, was fired Dec. 7 for reasons the organization’s board have not disclosed.
“It’s confidential, personnel matters at the YSO,” board President Corinne Murphy-Hines said Wednesday. “I’m not really at liberty to talk about it. And I want the best for the symphony.”
Kopp did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.
Ali Macias, who worked as a spokeswoman and director of advancement for the organization, said the staff wasn’t given a reason for Kopp’s termination. Macias said he worked well with the staff and had been successful at raising money and interest in the symphony. She resigned shortly after his firing, citing “personal and professional reasons.” Kopp’s firing contributed to the decision to resign, she said.
Kopp’s short tenure is in stark contrast to his predecessor, Noël Moxley, who helmed the organization for 12 years. The YSO annual budget grew from $400,000 to $760,000 under Moxley, who also oversaw the transition from founding conductor Brooke Creswell to current conductor Lawrence Golan in 2010. Under Golan’s artistic direction, the YSO expanded its offerings to include pops concerts as well as more classical concerts.
This season, the remainder of which will be overseen by interim Executive Director Betsy McCann, began in September and continues into May. Highlights so far include selling out the Dec. 2 “Christmas Pops Spectacular” at the Capitol Theatre and selling more than 1,100 tickets for a Tchaikovsky program in October, the most the YSO has sold for a classical concert since 2008.
“It’s been a great season,” Murphy-Hines said.
She also said the organization is “in a great place” financially.
The search for Kopp’s replacement has begun, Murphy-Hines said.
“We’re hoping we can interview and have the top candidates out while we’re doing concerts in February,” she said.
• Pat Muir can be reached at 509-577-7693 or email@example.com.