News: Jerome H. “Jerry” Kern, whose leadership of the Colorado Symphony spans some two decades, today announced his retirement as chief executive officer and chairman of the board.
“This is the perfect moment for my retirement because I’m leaving the symphony in the strongest financial position it has ever achieved,” Kern said. “Though I may be stepping down from an active leadership role, you’ll be seeing us at many of the concerts this season and beyond.” The “us” refers to his wife, Dr. Mary Rossick Kern, who has served with him – officially and unofficially – during his tenure.
The couple’s involvement with the symphony began in the late 1990s when they accepted the role of community trustees. Their involvement continued through the mid-2000s, during which time they were the catalysts behind the Symphony on the Rocks summer season series at Red Rocks Amphitheater. They also established the Colorado Symphony Ball, the organization’s most important fundraiser. It has raised over $1 million each year it was held.
In 2010 the Colorado Symphony Association musicians reached out to the Kerns to re-engage with the organization after it faced financial woes that forced the cancellation of a portion of the 2011-12 season.
The Kerns then became co-chairs of the board of trustees, serving in that position through 2016 when he assumed the dual roles of CEO and chairman of the board.
“I couldn’t have done it without my wife at my side,” Kern said. “Mary and I are grateful to all those who helped make it possible, beginning with the musicians who never stopped believing and kept playing better and better, to the senior staff who were creative and committed to our basic mission of sustaining the future of traditional classical music while developing a broader repertoire to attract a broader audience.”
As a tribute to service that encompassed two separate terms, including the last 11 seasons stewarding the symphony’s leadership efforts, the Colorado Symphony Association has named him emeritus chair of the board. Special recognition will be given to him at the Sept. 18 opening weekend concerts.
An acknowledged media veteran and mega-dealmaker in complicated, multi-party transactions, Kern served as vice chairman and a member of the Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) board of directors. He was the architect of the AT&T/TCI merger and represented TCI in a number of other high-profile mergers and acquisitions, including the Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting merger.
Prior to TCI, Kern was a senior partner at Baker & Botts, where he was the senior corporate lawyer in the firm’s New York office. He has been president of Kern Consulting since 1997 and senior advisor at Moelis & Company since 2020.
He graduated cum laude from New York University’s School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and managing editor of NYU’s Law Review.
About the organization: The Colorado Symphony Association is the region’s only full-time professional orchestra committed to artistic excellence and ensuring the future of live, symphonic music. Its 80 full-time musicians perform over 150 concerts annually at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver and across Colorado.
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