the chronicle of a 21st century arts administrator

About Me


Robert Massey has built a reputation as one of classical music’s most innovative, visionary, and entrepreneurial leaders. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Louisville Orchestra. Prior to  this appointment, he was head of the Jacksonville Symphony (2014 – 2019), Orchestra Iowa (2008 – 2014), and the Washington Bach Consort (2004 – 2008), where he led remarkable transformations at each, more than doubling their annual audience and increasing contributions by 50%. 

In addition to his work with symphony orchestras, Robert has served multiple arts disciplines, including opera (Washington National Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre), ballet (Ballet Quad Cities, Ballet Memphis), performing arts centers (Kennedy Center, Cedar Rapids’ Paramount Theatre, Germantown Performing Arts Centre), museums (The Phillips Collection), and “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. 

Robert began his journey in the arts by discovering trumpet at an early age. Robust music education programs and participation in his local youth symphony inspired him to pursue it as a career. While still a teenager, he began playing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and was later a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He holds a bachelor of music degree from Boston’s New England Conservatory and was a Beebe Fellow at the famed Paris Conservatory.

As a tireless advocate for the arts, Robert is a frequent speaker and panelist across the globe. He has presented at the International Federation of Musicians, ICSOM, ROPA, League of American Orchestras, and Tessitura conferences, has successfully negotiated more than a dozen labor agreements, and has raised more than $200 million for artistic, building, and sustainability initiatives.