San Antonio Symphony Announces New Executive Director

November 13, 2018

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SAN ANTONIO—San Antonio Symphony enters a new era of strength and stability as it announces Corey Cowart as Executive Director, effective January 1, 2019. Mr. Cowart, who most recently served as Executive Director of the Amarillo Symphony, brings over a decade’s worth of experience in arts administration and institutional advancement.

Mr. Cowart will lead the Symphony as it works to reflect the dynamism of its home city. This includes becoming a more vibrant and energetic organization that respects the symphonic tradition while embracing the youthful spirit and diversity of San Antonio. Priorities will include strengthening the potency of the Symphony’s Board of Directors, expanding upon the current fundraising model, and enhancing marketing strategy on an institutional and programmatic level.

Mr. Cowart’s appointment comes after an exhaustive search of top talent from across the United States. The Symphony’s Board of Directors, under the aegis of Frank Stenger-Castro, engaged nationally-recognized Arts Consulting Group to execute the search.
“On behalf of the San Antonio Symphony Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Corey Cowart as our permanent Executive Director,” said Kathleen Weir Vale, Board Chair. “A seasoned arts management professional, Mr. Cowart’s excellent skillset includes highly effective fundraising and marketing, sound fiscal management, and strong administrative leadership. Corey is an accomplished musician whose profound knowledge of the symphonic art form combines perfectly with his administrative expertise. We eagerly anticipate his leadership in driving our mission, which is to delight, inspire, and engage our entire community through excellent performance, education, and outreach.”

Mr. Cowart has served as the Amarillo Symphony’s Executive Director since 2015. During his tenure, Mr. Cowart and the Amarillo Symphony Board embarked on a new strategic plan to recapitalize the organization through expanding audience and donor bases. As a result of that plan, the Amarillo Symphony saw annual contributed income increase over 60%, earned revenue grow by 40%, and annual paid attendance increase by 35%.

Mr. Cowart’s tenure also brought significant artistic growth to Amarillo’s oldest performing arts organization. Among the Orchestra’s achievements during Mr. Cowart’s time as Executive Director were the establishment of the Happy Holiday Pops concerts, commissioning major works from Amarillo Symphony’s Composer-In-Residence Chris Rogerson, and the incorporation of a standalone nonprofit K-12 music competition into the Symphony’s portfolio of education initiatives.

“I am honored to have been selected the San Antonio Symphony’s next Executive Director,” said Mr. Cowart. “I look forward to working closely with Kathleen Weir Vale, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, the amazing musicians, Symphony management team, and Board to strengthen and add resilience to an organization with such high artistic quality and history. My family and I are eager to make San Antonio our home and look forward to being part of such a rich community.”

A native of Houston, TX, Mr. Cowart holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Houston and a Master of Music from Yale University. He began his career at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he served in four different positions over six years. Before his arrival in Amarillo, he served as Vice President of Development with Minnesota Opera. Mr. Cowart will be joined in San Antonio by his wife, Jennifer, and their three children.


About San Antonio Symphony
The San Antonio Symphony, established in 1939, is a nonprofit performing arts organization with the mission to delight, engage, and inspire the entire community through excellent performance, education, and outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Assistant Conductor Noam Aviel, the San Antonio Symphony gives more than 100 performances annually, including classics, pops, educational programs, movie concerts, and performances with our fellow resident opera and ballet companies. With more than 70 professional musicians, the Symphony serves over 130,000 people per year including over 50,000 students. For more information about the San Antonio Symphony, please visit

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