Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Announces New Executive Director

Emma Scherer takes charge a month before the season opener

As The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus prepares to open its 38th season this September, the organization announced today that Emma Scherer will come on the new executive director and Interim Executive Director Ralph P. Craviso’s tenure comes to an end. Scherer will succeed Daniel M. Crupi, who left to join the Asheville Symphony at the end of the 2020-2021 season.

“It’s a real honor, especially with all of these talented musicians,” Scherer tells SFR. “I’ve really enjoyed this whole process. The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus is a very special organization—these kind of large scale performances really can’t be matched.”

Scherer is an Illinois native who came of age with a deep love of symphony, opera and classical music. She originally pursued a path in vocal performance but switched gears to music administration and business. Previously, she worked for the Santa Fe Opera managing the executive office and board relations under General Director Charles MacKay and, since 2018, Scherer has managed operations at Chicago’s renowned Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, overseeing its $2 million annual operating budget and virtual pandemic programs.

Noting the deep roots musicians of the symphony have in New Mexico, Scherer says she hopes to bring more local recognition to the organization while ensuring the public can not only engage with the live shows, but also develop a sense of pride in the symphony, even if they are only listeners.

“This is an orchestra made up of New Mexico musicians. I don’t want the public to think of us as just another orchestra, I want them to think of us as Santa Fe’s symphony and orchestra,” Scherer explains. “We’re offering something for everyone. We’ve got a wide and expanding variety of programs. My goal is to continue creating and increasing access and ensuring equity through classical music, for all of Santa Fe.”

The wealth of connections within the city’s arts and culture world, Scherer notes, means she’s seeing a city with deep support for the organization, especially post-pandemic. This upcoming season is slated to return to traditional live shows featuring 140 musicians across 17 concert events—all with COVID-19 safe protocols, including proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. Face masks will be required at all times for the symphony’s shows at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

Still, Scherer expects the shared commitment to music will shine through.

“Our collaborations with the Santa Fe Opera and Performance Santa Fe and partnerships with the Lensic and Cathedral Basilica—all of that shows just how engrained music and art is to the people who live here,” she says.

For up-to-date information, visit the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus website.

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