Wayne S. Brown Named President and CEO of the Michigan Opera Theatre

DETROIT, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ Wayne S. Brown, Director of Music and Opera for the National Endowment for the Arts since 1997 and a native Detroiter, has been named President and CEO of the Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) effective January 1. He succeeds David DiChiera who founded MOT in 1971 and has served as General Director of the theatre since its inception. Dr. DiChiera will remain as Artistic Director.

"We are thrilled to have a man of Wayne Brown's experience and vision to take over the role that David has so capably carried out for so many years," said Rick Williams, MOT chairman. "And we are delighted that David will continue as artistic director, the role that's always been closest to his heart."

DiChiera announced in February that he planned to step down from his role as General Director to focus on the artistic and production side of the theatre. A search committee, including Dr. DiChiera, has been reviewing and interviewing candidates for the position since that time. Brown is the committee's unanimous and enthusiastic choice to join David as the organization moves into the next chapter in its development.

"We considered a variety of candidates with a variety of backgrounds, candidates from across the country, and none of them equaled Wayne's level of experience and enthusiasm for the job. He has a glittering professional record, is a nationally recognized and respected figure in the arts community, and is as thrilled to be coming home to Detroit as we are to have him," Williams said.

In addition to managing grants for music and opera projects at the NEA, Brown directed the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Prior to his affiliation with the NEA he served as producer of music programs for the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta, GA, where he managed music events associated with the 1996 Olympic Games. He also is a former executive director of the Louisville Orchestra and was a founding member of the "Magic in Music" advisory committee for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Brown began his career with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra where he was instrumental in bringing about the DSO's first annual Classical Roots Concert. He is a graduate of the Music School at the University of Michigan.

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by Barry Kostrinsky