Lawrence J. Fried, executor director of Opera in the Heights in Houston, has been named executive director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
“My goal is to engage every segment of our community in different ways to enjoy all that our organization has to offer,” said Fried in a press release. “It’s always a challenge to strike a balance between artistic plans and fiscal realities. However, my past experiences have shown that, with careful planning, an orchestra can grow and do exciting things while operating in a fiscally responsible manner. I am excited about the future of the Albany Symphony.”
Fried takes over for Jenny Amstutz, who has been interim director since Brian Ritter resigned in August of 2012. Ritter took over in 2009 for Sharon Walsh, who had been ASO’s general manager for 15 years. Ritter assumed the title of executive director, which included the duties of the general manager as well as leading fund-raising and development efforts.
“Larry is an extraordinary gifted arts leader,” said David Alan Miller, music director for ASO since 1992, in the press release. “He brings a wealth of experience to the Albany Symphony, as well as a deep knowledge of the field and a passion for the art form. As a former professional percussionist, he fully understands and values the unique artistic vision of our orchestra, and, I believe, will help us move forward in meaningful and effective ways.”
Prior to his time in Houston, Fried spent five years as executive director of the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra in Washington, where he helped produce what the Seattle Weekly called the “best classical music success story.” He has been general manager and artistic administrator of the San Antonio Symphony, and during his time there the group received the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming.
Fried has a degree in music performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, along with a master’s in performance and musicology from SUNY-Stony Brook. Before heading to San Antonio, Fried spent time in the New York City area, working as the orchestra manager and artistic administrator of the Little Orchestra Society of New York and executive director of the New York Virtuoso Chamber Symphony and the West End Symphony/Music Outreach Education Project.
Fried also worked as a consultant for the New York City Department of Businesses, and was an adjunct professor at the New York University, the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Reach Gazette reporter Bill Buell at 395-3190 or [email protected].