News & Resources

Orlando Ballet Retains Michael Kaiser and Devos Institute of Arts Management January 19, 2016 |

The Orlando Ballet, coming off successful holiday performances of The Nutcracker at the Dr. Philips Center for the Performing Arts, continues to take steps to revitalize the organization by retaining the consulting services of legendary arts and culture executive Michael M. Kaiser. Kaiser is currently the Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Kaiser and members of the executive team at the Institute began work in Orlando earlier this month.

From January 2001 through August 2015, Kaiser served as the President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. During his tenure, he expanded the educational and artistic programming for the United States’ center for the performing arts, oversaw a major renovation effort of most of the Center’s theaters, and led the nation in arts management training. In 2001, Kaiser created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, later renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in May 2010. In honor of his accomplishments, the Board of the Kennedy Center named him President Emeritus in 2014.

“We are excited to welcome Michael to Orlando,” said Orlando Ballet Board Chair Sibille Pritchard. “Based on his track-record of turning around arts organizations, and specifically ballet companies, we are confident his leadership will help us continue the momentum we have as a company and guide us towards long-term growth and success.”

Kaiser previously served as the Executive Director of the Royal Opera House, the largest performing arts organization in the United Kingdom. During his tenure with the Royal Opera House, it erased its historic accumulated deficit, completed a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the facility, created an endowment fund, and greatly increased its level of support from the private and public sectors.

Prior to joining the Royal Opera House, Kaiser was Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, where he led the company out of financial peril, created a second company, greatly expanded national and international touring activity, and built an acclaimed series of education programs. Kaiser also served as Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation and General Manager of the Kansas City Ballet.

“The entire company is eager to work with Mr. Kaiser,” added Robert Hill, Artistic Director of the Orlando Ballet. “I had the privilege of working with Michael while I was a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.  I have seen his work first-hand and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with him again here in Orlando.”

Kaiser received his master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and his Bachelor’s degree in economics magna cum laude from Brandeis University. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Arts Administration at New York University and a Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.