Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces New CEO Marc Thayer

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces New CEO Marc Thayer

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra welcomes Marc Thayer as executive director effective July 1. He was selected following a nationwide search involving dozens of candidates.

Thayer comes from the Symphony New Hampshire, where he has led the organization since 2016.


An accomplished violinist, he has performed and taught around the world in his previous roles with the Association of American Voices, the American Music Abroad Program for the United States Department of State, and the Whim Estate Historical Society Concerts in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He has held leadership roles with the St. Louis Symphony and with Miami’s New World Symphony.

Thayer received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with William Preucil and Zvi Zeitlin.

“Marc brings to the ESO the experience, professionalism and industry knowledge we were looking for,” said ESO Board Chair Andre Fiebig. “Marc exhibits a great deal of thoughtfulness and enthusiasm that excites our musicians and will fit well with our loyal community. We are extremely fortunate to have been able to convince Marc to join us in Elgin to take over the leadership of this highly successful institution that plays a critical role in Elgin and the surrounding communities.”

Thayer replaces Erik Malmquist, who is leaving in August to oversee casting at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper.

The ESO is one of the nation’s preeminent regional orchestras. Founded in 1950, the ESO became a fully professional ensemble in 1985. Over its history, the ESO has featured a roster of legendary soloists including classical music legends Yo Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zucherman, Sir James Galloway and James Ehnes.

The ESO has been named Orchestra of the Year four times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016).

The ESO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To learn more or to support the ESO, visit www.elginsymphony.org.

SOURCE: Elgin Symphony Orchestra news release