Astoria Music Festival taps Linda Magee as consultant

The longtime leader of Chamber Music Northwest will help the festival prepare for a new executive director

Every time someone at ArtsWatch slipped and said that Linda Magee had “retired” from her job as executive director at Chamber Music Northwest, she was quick to correct us. No, she hadn’t retired, she would assert, she was just moving on to something else after 33 years at CMNW.

Just to put an exclamation point on that distinction, Magee will has been hired to consult with the Astoria Music Festival to help the festival prepare to hire a new executive director, as The Daily Astorian reported yesterday. The report included this quote from artistic director Keith Clark:

“We are fortunate that Linda Magee has offered to join our festival team,” said founding Artistic Director Keith Clark. “Our performing artists include many leading musicians in the country, and in Linda we now have a virtuoso arts administer to guide us to a new level of organization.”

“I think she will be really great for them, because she’s so good at growing small organizations and is so well connected,” said one music insider we talked to, and that sounds right. During Magee’s long tenure at CMNW, the organization grew dramatically into one of the most solid arts groups in Portland, and the group’s reach was national and international in scope, meaning, yes, her rolodex is undoubtedly loaded with interesting names.
The Astoria festival has been growing, too, both in size and stature, which makes Magee’s commitment to them understandable. It just completed its 10th season, and seems poised for more growth in the future. Its 2013 season included a mix of chamber and orchestral music and opera. The 2014 festival will be June 13-29.

We’ve reached out to Magee to talk a little bit more about the move, and we’ll keep you, um, posted when we learn more.


Magee did get back to us and pointed out that we’d completely misread what was going on. She will NOT be the new executive director herself: She’s going to help the festival prepare to hire that executive director. Our apologies to Magee, the festival, and to you, our readers!


One more quick classical music note: As Brett Campbell noted on our ArtsWatch Facebook Page, one worthy Oregon music institution’s loss is another gain. Oregon Repertory Singers executive director Jed Shay will moves over to the same position at Portland Youth Philharmonic. Shay replaces Kevin Lefohn, who resigned last summer.

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