Jacksonville Symphony names new president/CEO


The Jacksonville Symphony recently announces nonprofit veteran Steven Libman as the new president/CEO. Libman comes to Jacksonville from the Atlanta Ballet, where he has served as the organization’s chief advancement officer since 2014.

“After a year-long search, the Board reached a unanimous decision that Steven is the absolute perfect candidate for the job,” said Don Baldwin, vice chair of the Symphony’s Board and head of the Search Committee. “As interim president and CEO, David Strickland has done a fantastic job in maintaining the momentum of the Jacksonville Symphony, and we are very pleased to have Steven guide us through this next stage of our evolution.”

As chief advancement officer for the Atlanta Ballet, Libman was responsible for planning, implementing, overseeing and assessing the Atlanta Ballet’s development strategies in support of the organization’s strategic vision and growth. While there, he led a $23.5 million capital campaign and $5 million annual fund. In his new role as Jacksonville Symphony president and CEO, Libman reports to the board of directors through the chairman and is responsible for an organization that has been operating for nearly 70 years, is comprised of more than 100 employees and reaches more than 250,000 people annually.

Throughout his career, Libman has raised more than $150 million, including a recent $6 million for the Atlanta Ballet to fund a brand, new production of “The Nutcracker,” with a world-class team of Tony Award-winning designers. He also co-created and launched a radio show that appeared on public radio from 2013-2016 entitled “The Voice of the Performing Arts.” Hosted by Libman and Jeff Swensson, they interviewed over 500 guests, over 160 shows, with a weekly audience of up to 10,000 listeners. The thorough list of guests included members of Congress, university presidents, as well as executive and education directors from some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the world.

“My wife, Carol, and I feel inspired to make the move to Jacksonville,” Libman said. “There is a rich abundance of cultural activity in the River City, and the Jacksonville Symphony is the largest institution within that culture. Through the arc of my career, I have been a part of helping almost 4 million people to experience the joy of the performing arts, and I could not be more excited to become a part of that in Jacksonville.”

The Jacksonville Symphony is North Florida’s leading music nonprofit offering live performances at Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and other venues throughout the area. In addition, the Symphony provides music instruction for youth and operates the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. For more information about the Symphony, visit jaxsymphony.org.