February 16, 2012

The University of Chicago Presents has named Amy Iwano to the role of executive director, effective April 2. Iwano comes to UChicago after 18 years as executive director of the Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Martha Feldman, chair of the University’s Music Department, said of the appointment: “Amy Iwano will continue to invigorate University of Chicago Presents in its mission of bringing Chicago the finest chamber music, early music, new music and jazz, and will do so with extraordinary leadership and innovation.”

Larry Norman, Deputy Provost for the Arts, added: “Amy brings inspiring vision and tremendous leadership skills to the University’s hallmark music presenting organization. As we look forward to this year’s opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, we are thrilled to welcome her to the helm of a true flagship for the arts on campus and in the city of Chicago.”

“I am both delighted and honored to join the University of Chicago at this extraordinary time for the arts on campus,” said Iwano. “I've been impressed by the enthusiasm and unanimity of support for growing the arts at the University and will look forward to ensuring great music has a critical and progressive role in its future offerings through University of Chicago Presents.”

Iwano was appointed executive director of Chicago Chamber Musicians in 1993. Under her leadership, CCM earned local and national recognition for its artistic excellence and organizational vitality. The organization expanded its artistic ensemble and programs and quadrupled its annual operating budget. 

Prior to her position at CCM, Iwano served as executive director of the Japan America Symphony Association of Los Angeles, where she guided a chamber orchestra of 45 musicians. From 1984-89, Iwano was administrator of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, a 100-member summer orchestral training program. 

Among numerous arts appointments, Iwano has served on the board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, and was a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. For Chamber Music America, she has served on the board and as a grant panelist, strategic advisor and speaker at national conferences.

She has been an active contributor to Chicago’s arts scene, serving on the Chicago Chapter Advisory Board of the American Composers Forum and on the Advisory Board for the Jane Addams Hull House Center for Arts and Culture. She also served on the Program Committee of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and is a founding executive committee member of ChicagoClassicalMusic.org.

Iwano graduated with a BA from Pomona College, where she played harp in the orchestra. She also studied at the Goethe Institute in West Berlin and the University of Paris, La Sorbonne.

About University of Chicago Presents

The University of Chicago Presents boasts a tradition of classical music-making, which dates to the 1903 opening of Mandel Hall. The various series that UCP presents has grown to include Classic Concert, Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music, Artists-in-Residence (Pacifica Quartet) and Contempo, as well as a number of special events including jazz performances.

UCP also has expanded its mission in recent years to include collaborations that bridge different arts and disciplines, including its 2008 music festival honoring French composer Olivier Messiaen; its 2010 festival on Spanish modernism; and most recently, the Soviet Arts Experience, a 16-month festival of more than 100 events across Chicago exploring arts and culture. UCP also has partnered with cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Smart Museum of Art.

Its 2012-13 performances will take place in a number of campus venues, principally Mandel Hall, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, as well as other city of Chicago locations.