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Chicago Symphony Orchestra president leaving to run Kennedy Center

Chicago Symphony OrchestrAssociatipresident Deborah Rutter speaks mediTuesday after Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenste(right) announced thshe will become center's president

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association president Deborah Rutter speaks to the media on Tuesday after Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein (right) announced that she will become the center's president next fall. | PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AP

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Updated: December 11, 2013 10:04AM

Deborah Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is leaving to become president of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She is scheduled to take on those duties Sept. 1.

In a press release, Ricardo Muti, music director of the CSO, said: “What Deborah has done in Chicago speaks of her strong commitment to the great importance of the arts and culture. I am happy that in this new position she will be able to share her deep love for music and the arts with the entire country. With friendship and respect, I offer all my best wishes knowing, from what she has accomplished in Chicago, that she will be very successful. The Kennedy Center will be an even stronger institution because of Deborah’s leadership.”

In Rutter’s statement, she gives credit to Muti and other colleagues: “Since arriving at the CSO in 2003, I have come to love this city and its people, to deepen what was already a profound respect for the artistry of our orchestra, and to revel in the miracle that is the citizenry and generosity of the patrons of greater Chicago.

“It has been a privilege to see the CSO rise to new heights of artistic excellence and service to others through music. I am honored to know and to have worked side by side with our treasured music director, Maestro Riccardo Muti, and with our very special creative consultant, Yo-Yo Ma, over the last four years. Additionally, I extend my gratitude to Pierre Boulez and Bernard Haitink for their care and counsel throughout my time at the CSO. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had to grow and stretch with each of my colleagues here—conductors, musicians, board and staff members, volunteers, donors, patrons, and community partners.

“I leave Chicago for Washington, D.C. with a full heart and streams of tears for the memories and great friends that I will miss seeing daily. As I anticipate the change I hope to make in the next chapter of my career—to advance the importance of culture and the role it can play in our country—I know that I am better prepared to do so because of all that I have learned from all of my colleagues here.”

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