Van Vorst Named Director of Conservatory

February 1, 2012

Susan D. Van Vorst, Director of Development with the Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra), has been named director of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Her appointment follows a national search and is effective on April 1.

“We’re delighted to welcome Susan Van Vorst back to Baldwin Wallace in this important position,” said Mary Lou Higgerson, BW vice president for academic affairs, who also chaired the search committee. “She brings with her an impressive record of leadership in the Northeast Ohio arts community and is a passionate advocate for excellence in the study and performance of music.”

As a senior development professional for The Cleveland Orchestra since 2010, she led a staff of 14 to support the annual fund, comprehensive funds campaign and other initiatives to advance the institution financially and strategically. She also was the Orchestra’s primary staff liaison with the Blossom Music Center Board of Overseers and was responsible for developing strategies to expand the Orchestra’s presence in Summit County.

Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, she was Foundation President and Vice President, Fund Development for Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. From 1989-97 she also led the enrollment efforts for the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.

“Music is Susan’s lifelong passion and her background as well.  She earned a bachelor of arts degree in music with an emphasis on piano from Kent State University and a master’s degree in arts administration from The University of Akron—always with a special interest in orchestra management,” said Higgerson. “She possesses a very distinctive background and skill set. We are confident that her vision, proven leadership and communication skills will serve us well in advancing the mission and strong reputation of the Conservatory.”

Van Vorst succeeds Peter Landgren, who departed in September to head his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The interim BW director was Julian Ross, professor of violin.

“We are deeply appreciative of the leadership provided by Prof. Ross during this time of transition,” said Higgerson.