- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 25, 2001

President Robert C. Jones will leave the National Symphony Orchestra next month, NSO Board Chairman Michael Brewer announced yesterday.
Michael Kaiser, the new Kennedy Center president, will oversee administration of the orchestra and work directly with the NSO board after Mr. Jones' departure.
Mr. Jones joined the NSO in February 1998. He has held the dual position of NSO president and vice president of music for the Kennedy Center.
He said in the NSO statement: "An unusual confluence of events has lately come together. During my tenure here, I've achieved a number of the things that the board set out as my priorities. When Michael Kaiser came on board [on Feb. 1], it was evident that we had someone at the helm of the Kennedy Center with a strong commitment to the orchestra.
"Although I felt I should stay for at least six more months, to provide the orchestra with continuity during Michael's transition, I began to feel free to consider several intriguing new professional opportunities that would allow me to commit more time to my family and other personal interests."
Mr. Jones also was chief operating officer of the NSO.
He joined the orchestra after working for 14 years with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, for which he was president and chief operating officer. He also was a board member of the Indiana State Symphony Society and a director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation. Before that, he was vice president, general manager and a member of the board of the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis.
Before working in orchestra management, Mr. Jones was a professional musician and teacher. He specialized in the clarinet, saxophone and flute.
He also held various positions in the American Federation of Musicians.
The NSO credits Mr. Jones with leading a team during his first year that worked out a six-year contract with NSO musicians, the longest pact in the orchestra's history. It says the NSO's financial situation improved dramatically while Mr. Jones was president.
Mr. Jones also brought to the Kennedy Center programming partnerships with Sirius Satellite Radio and WETA-FM for national broadcasts of the orchestra and the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts, to air in the fall.
He also worked with NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin to establish the National Conducting Institute, started last year. The NSO also took numerous tours during his tenure and had four U.S. residencies: Alabama in 1998, Mississippi in 1999, Vermont in 2000 and Oklahoma this year.
At the Kennedy Center, Mr. Jones worked with the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts and managed the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

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