BR Symphony executive director resigns

The Baton Rouge Symphony is once again searching for an executive director, following the abrupt resignation of Alan Hopper.

Ron Ross has been appointed interim executive director while the symphony board conducts a national search for a new director.

Hopper came to the Baton Rouge Symphony five years ago but his wife, Cheryl, never moved from their home in Florida, so he was dividing his time between Baton Rouge and Tampa.

“Alan decided it would be better for him to spend more time with his family in Florida,” symphony board Chairman John D’Angelo said. “He turned in his resignation Jan. 31 and we (the board) accepted it.”

A call placed to Hopper on Thursday for comment was not returned.

This is the second time the symphony board has turned to Ross, retired founding dean of LSU’s College of Music & Dramatic Arts, to serve in this capacity while it searches for Hopper’s successor. Ross served 13 years as dean, retiring in 2007. D’Angelo has asked Chairwoman-elect Judy George to chair the committee conducting the national search for a new executive director.

“I have to tell you, I’m excited about where the symphony stands right now,” said D’Angelo. “We’ve broadened our offerings, adding Pops concerts to our Masterworks and Pennington Great Performers series, and that’s by design. We’ve expanded our audience base to include young and mature members. I’m really happy with where we stand.”