Simon Woods

Simon Woods has been selected as the interim executive director of the Grand Teton Music Festival. He's scheduled to start on Feb. 24.

About two months after Grand Teton Music Festival President and CEO Andrew Palmer Todd resigned under pressure, the classical music nonprofit has named an interim executive director.

Simon Woods, a former chief executive with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Seattle Symphony, will take the helm, supporting the festival through its search for a permanent leader.

“In securing the services of Simon Woods,” Music Director Donald Runnicles said in a statement, “the Grand Teton Music Festival is fortunate to be able to benefit from an experienced and enlightened executive, known across our business for his commitment to collaboration, who will provide us with valued leadership through this transitional period.”

Runnicles said he and Woods have worked together in the past, both in North America and Europe.

The search committee considered a “broad range of applicants from the U.S.,” the board’s new co-chairs, John Costello and Barbara McCelvey, wrote in an email.

Christine Hartley, the festival’s chairwoman during a spat with orchestra musicians that led to Todd’s departure, is not listed on the Grand Teton Music Festival’s website as a current board member.

In addition to Woods’ roles in Los Angeles, where he spent just over a year, and Seattle, where he helmed the symphony for seven years, the Londoner has worked for three other orchestras: the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra.

“The greatest reward of my professional life has been working up close with musicians, conductors and guest artists,” Woods said in a press release, “so to be able to support the people of the Grand Teton Music Festival in the coming months as they bridge into a new era is a special privilege.”

The Grand Teton Music Festival will now launch a search for a permanent executive director, a position the board is aiming to fill by September. When asked if Simon is part of the applicant pool, the co-chairs responded, “Never say never.”

Woods will assume his responsibilities Feb. 24, according to the release. He will report to McCelvey and Costello.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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