Santa Barbara Symphony's David Pratt Named Queensland Symphony Chief Executive

David Pratt, who spearheaded a remarkable turnaround as executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, positioning the organization for a new era of fiscal wellbeing, has been appointed chief executive of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia. He will assume his new position in September.

Named executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in December 2014, Mr. Pratt began serving in his current role the following March. Under his leadership the organization overcame a significant budget shortfall and has posted impressive institutional gains. Annual giving and single-ticket sales are up 12 and 20 percent, respectively, and subscription sales are on the rise.

"David's organizational talent and energy have had a transformative influence on the Santa Barbara Symphony," said Board President Arthur Swalley. "In his short time with us, he has refocused our efforts on key strategic metrics, including cost-effective marketing, development processes, financial controls, and expanded education programming. We are grateful for the critical work he has accomplished. Our Symphony is now in excellent shape with great potential moving forward."

Prior to joining the Santa Barbara Symphony, Mr. Pratt was executive director of the Savannah Philharmonic in Georgia, where he oversaw substantial increases in attendance, donations, and corporate support. Over the course of his 20-year career he has also served as general manager of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in that country's North East tropical region, commercial enterprises manager of the Sydney Symphony, and general manager of the Melbourne Film Office, and held several film industry management positions in Los Angeles. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Pratt was the film commissioner for Ausfilm in Los Angeles, promoting Australia's movie and television production sector in the United States.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra is Queensland's largest performing arts company, presenting some 150 live performances and engaging with more than 1.6 million people annually. The organization has an annual budget of $18 million and boasts 88 full-time musicians.

"I leave the Symphony with great pride in what we, as an organization, have achieved in the short period I have been here," said Mr. Pratt, a native of Australia. "I will miss working with the incredible Nir Kabaretti and the talented pool of musicians that make up the Santa Barbara Symphony."

The Santa Barbara Symphony will name an interim executive director in the coming weeks.

The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Consistently lauded for its unique ability to present brilliant concerts, engage the community, and deliver dynamic music education programs, the organization prizes both innovation and artistic excellence, and is widely recognized as one of the region's premier cultural institutions. Its award-winning Music Education Center serves some 5,000 students throughout Santa Barbara County each year. Charismatic Israeli conductor Nir Kabaretti was appointed music and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006. For additional information, visit

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