Nancy Petrisko appointed Washington Concert Opera executive director

To replace retiring executive director Judy Gruber in November. Photo: Don Lassell for WCO

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2012  The Washington Concert Opera’s Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Nancy E. Petrisko as its new Executive Director, effective November 1, 2012. Ms. Petrisko was selected after an intensive national search the board conducted to find a replacement for retiring longtime Executive Director Judy Gruber. Ms. Gruber will continue to remain a Board member. 

Petrisko brings extensive arts management experience to the Washington Concert Opera (WCO). In a press release, Melissa Rhea, WCO board chair and company president stated that the board “believes Ms. Petrisko’s skills in the areas of development and fund-raising, marketing, strategic planning, artistic and business operations will help us grow Washington Concert Opera as it enters its second quarter century.” 

Washington Concert Opera in its recent performance of La Sonnambula at Lisner. (Don Lassell for WCO)

Antony Walker, WCO’s artistic director and chief conductor stated that he was “delighted to welcome Nancy Petrisko as the new Executive Director of Washington Concert Opera,” adding that he was “looking forward to our artistic partnership and collaboration.” 

“It has been my lifelong professional goal to lead an opera company - a goal that has been reinforced by working for some years in this field,” Ms. Petrisko said in response to her appointment. “I look forward to working with Maestro Antony Walker and the WCO Board of Directors to build upon WCO’s excellent reputation, secure a stronger foundation for future growth, and expand the audience for this exquisite art form,” she added.  

Most recently, Ms. Petrisko has been a development manager for WCO. She had previously been executive director of BlackRock Center for the Arts and the Vocal Arts Society (now Vocal Arts DC). Before that she was director of finance and administration for Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS). She has held previous positions with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as serving as an adjunct professor of arts management at American University and as a consultant to a number of arts organizations.

Retiring Executive Director Judy Gruber has long been familiar to Washington’s classical music and opera audience as a weekend host on local PBS radio station WETA-FM. Previously, she had hosted a popular classical music program on DC’s former all-classical commercial radio station WGMS-FM, and has also reviewed classical music for The Washington Post.

Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times (1994-2009). 

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