GEMS Founder Gene Murrow to Retire September 2022. Board Names John Thiessen as New Executive Director

Gene Murrow, Founder and Executive Director of Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS), announces his retirement effective September 1, 2022. He will continue serving the organization as President of the GEMS Board of Directors beginning on that date.

Murrow noted, “It is a testament to the dedication and quality to the GEMS staff and volunteers, the generosity of our donors and funders, and the visionary and supportive planning by our Board that we are able to announce this smooth transition, which will continue our numerous achievements and growing influence since our founding 15 years ago. At its Spring meeting, the Board appointed GEMS’s current Director of Education and Concert Production, John Thiessen, to the position of Executive Director, effective on September 1, 2022. John is a highly respected musician (natural trumpet), contractor, educator, and administrator, and is enthusiastic about making this major transition in his own career by taking on this new role. I look forward to continuing to work closely with John over the next five months as he prepares to take the reins. I will continue my association with GEMS as President of the Board as of September 1, and lend a helping hand wherever necessary.”

GEMS is grateful for the passion, dedication, and encouragement of the artists and patrons in our early music community who have contributed so much to our success and that of our genre, and we look forward to continuing to serve them.

About John Thiessen

John Thiessen is currently Director of Education and Concert Production at GEMS. He has built a significant career as a musician, orchestra contractor, administrator, and educator. An internationally respected and sought-after virtuoso on natural trumpet, Thiessen has served as Baroque Trumpet Soloist/Principal with Tafelmusik, Handel & Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Opera Lafayette, Boston Baroque, and New York Baroque Incorporated. He has performed with Academy of Ancient Music, English Baroque Soloists, Amsterdam Baroque, and at venues including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, Concertgebouw, and the Barbican. He has made over 80 commercial recordings of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Biber, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven for Sony Classical, BMG, EMI, Telarc, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and CBC.

As an Executive Director for American Bach Soloists, he supervised all aspects of the organization’s financial, administrative, marketing, and production activities. For the past ten years, he has been the Orchestra Manager for the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and helped coordinate festivals and recordings for NOVUS NY. Thiessen is currently on the faculty at The Juilliard School, and the American Bach Soloists Academy, and created and manages GEMS’s online lecture series featuring prominent practitioners in the field of early music. He is a graduate of King’s College, University of London, and the Eastman School of Music.

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