Elgin Youth Symphony Names New Executive Director

Elgin Youth Symphony Names New Executive Director

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra has named K. Eric Larson as executive director, where he will oversee the organization’s nine large ensembles, marketing, development and operations.


K. Eric Larson

Before joining EYSO, Larson was principal of Moving Mountains Advisors, where he consulted with nonprofits to help them effectively achieve their missions. He has marketing communications/public relations and business leadership experience as well as nonprofit management and board development successes, having served in both volunteer and staff leadership roles.

“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the EYSO and look forward to building upon the great mission and programming already in place,” Larson said. “My goal is to work as a partner with our board, staff, member families, supporters and the communities we serve to ensure long term sustainability for the EYSO mission.”

“We spent hundreds of hours in our search for a new executive director,” said Joel Cohen, board president. “I am confident that Eric’s experience in all aspects of leading a nonprofit organization as well as his calm and thoughtful demeanor will lead us to great success in the coming years. We are happy to have him join the EYSO family.”

“I’m really excited to welcome Eric to the EYSO community,” said Randal Swiggum, artistic director. “He’s a natural fit for us and I’m looking forward to what new paths open up for EYSO under his leadership.”

As an amateur musician, Larson played in his middle school and high school bands, first on trumpet, then switching to bass guitar.  Music has always been a part of his life, and though he didn’t stick with performing, he recognizes now how those early studies “helped me not only listen to and appreciate music differently, but to engage and understand the world in a different way.”

Larson is board president of BACKBONES, a national nonprofit which helps people with spinal cord injury or disease and their families connect with their communities. Her serves as president of the Northeast Neighborhood Association of Elgin, and chair of Elgin’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Larson succeeds outgoing Executive Director Kathy Matthews, who led the organization for more than 17 years and who will continue working with the EYSO in a new capacity on the board of the organization’s endowment fund.

The EYSO has toured regionally and internationally, performed at the Ravinia Festival and on WFMT, and has collaborated with internationally renowned musicians Midori, Yo Yo Ma, Rachel Barton Pine and GRAMMY winning eighth blackbird. The Illinois Council of Orchestras has recognized the EYSO with awards for Youth Orchestra of the Year (2000 and 2007), Conductor of the Year, Outstanding Marketing Program of the Year Award and Programming of the Year Award (in 2005 and 2015).

The mission of the EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools and communities through the study and performance of excellent music. To learn more, visit www.EYSO.org or call (847) 841-7700.

SOURCE: Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra news release