Bruce Coppock back as head of SPCO

SPCO President Bruce Coppock
Bruce Coppock is shown in this file photo from 2006. Coppock returns to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as its president and managing director, it was announced Tuesday, May 7, 2013. He replaces interim president Dobson West.
MPR Photo/Karl Gehrke

Former St. Paul Chamber Orchestra leader Bruce Coppock is expected to return as president and managing director, the SPCO announced Tuesday.

The SPCO cited Coppock's orchestra managing experience and fundraising expertise in its recommendation.

Coppock served as president and managing director of the SPCO from 1999 to 2008. He left the orchestra after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, now in remission. Coppock will begin in June, replacing interim president Dobson West.

During Coppock's tenure, the orchestra established its artistic partners leadership model, which was praised for its innovation.

"For all the difficulties of the past year -- and we all know this has been an extremely difficult year -- the SPCO is a wonderful orchestra, and it's a wonderful organization," Coppock said. "I believe firmly that there's a very bright future for the orchestra and that's why I took the job."

Coppock said healing an ensemble that has been through a bitter labor dispute will be a challenge, but he believes he can provide a steady hand as a manager and leader. He also wants to instill a culture of kindness and civility at the SPCO.

"I think the place we need to start is by focusing on music. Let's get concerts going back on stage. Let's get the audience back," he said.

The announcement comes as the SPCO is preparing for its first official concert since the lockout ended. The chamber orchestra is scheduled to play a concert May 9 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.

Coppock's appointment is expected to be formally ratified by the board on May 21.

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