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Chicago Philharmonic Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

The Chicago Philharmonic Society is pleased to announce the addition of four dynamic new members to the organization’s Board of Directors. The new board members are Eleanor Bartsch, Chimaobi (Chima) Enyia, Cynthia Plouché, and Eric Wassenaar.

 “We are thrilled to welcome our new Board Directors,” said Executive Director Terell Johnson. “All of them are exceptional community organizers, passionate about the arts in Chicago, and powerful leaders.”

 “The future of Chicago Philharmonic has never shone brighter, and our Board of Directors is vital to our growth and continued success,” said Board Chairman Tom Manning. “I am very excited these four Directors join the team as we move forward.”

 Chicago Philharmonic has a unique governance structure unlike nearly any other orchestra in the United States. The governing body of Board members and Board-appointed committees are made up of a majority of musician members. In total, 13 musicians participate as Board Officers, making up at least 50% of the Board of Directors, and leading nearly all seven Board-appointed committees. 

 About the New Board Members


 Violinist Eleanor Bartsch enjoys a diverse and vibrant career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, Concertmaster, soloist, educator, and entrepreneur. In addition to being a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic since 2015, she is currently Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet. Bartsch has served as Concertmaster of the Chicago Philharmonic/Joffrey Ballet Orchestra and the Chicago Opera Theater Orchestra, and is Co-Founder of Madison, Wisconsin’s Willy Street Chamber Players, an award-winning ensemble with an emphasis on creating community through classical music. She frequently appears in the pit at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and is a regular chamber music performer at Door County, WI’s Midsummer’s Music Festival. Bartsch has collaborated with an extensive list of ensembles and artists with highlights including Eighth Blackbird, the Spektral Quartet, the Knights, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, Music of the Baroque, and many others. Along with the rest of the Kontras Quartet, she regularly joins forces with bluegrass trio, the Kruger Brothers.

 Chimaobi (Chima) Enyia is the Executive Vice President of SEEDTM. In May 2019, Cresco Labs created the Social Equity & Educational Development initiative (SEEDTM) to address the absence of people, businesses and communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs in the cannabis industry. Enyia is responsible for shaping and driving SEED’sTM organizational vision and strategy focused on restorative justice, community business incubator and education and workforce development programming. SEED’sTM ongoing efforts include but are not limited to: justice-oriented partnerships, expungement events, lobbying to change the nation’s drug laws, providing financial and legal resources to jumpstart cannabis businesses and establishing college and university partnerships to develop curriculum and host workshops focused on educating and preparing students for careers in cannabis. In addition, he collaborates with organizational leadership to spearhead diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives throughout all Cresco functions. Previously, Enyia served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (“ILCC”). In this role, he created and drove the organizational vision, strategy and policy for all ILCC operations, such as licensing, legal, enforcement, industry education and legislative affairs. In addition, he partnered with the ILCC’s board of directors to champion diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

 Cynthia Plouché has an extensive background in the financial services industry with more than twenty-five years of experience as a fixed income portfolio manager and financial executive. Additionally, she has extensive experience in the financial and operational oversight of for-profit, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. Her career has incorporated risk, control and compliance responsibility at both implementation and oversight levels. She serves on the boards of the Northern Institutional Funds and Northern Funds and is chair of the Funds’ governance committees. She also currently serves as an Independent Director of Barings Fund Trust, a registered investment company and an Independent Trustee of Barings Global Short Duration High Yield Fund, a closed-end investment company. She began her investment management career with Equitable Capital Management Corporation. Plouché regularly volunteers her time in consulting to non-profit and women-lead business initiatives and is the Board Chairman of the Chicago High School for the Arts. She is an Advisor to a STEM organization that, to date, has educated over 4K girls through 3D printing, CAD and other leading technologies. Her community and civic leadership is extensive with over twelve years of serving in locally elected leadership roles.

 Tenor Eric Wassenaar is a results-driven sales executive with a background developing and implementing territory strategies to drive revenue growth for technology organizations. Key areas of expertise include enterprise SaaS, managed security services, IT governance/compliance, and enterprise HR software Strong knowledge of Force Management sales methodologies. Consistent history of exceeding quotas and driving growth through high activity, structured follow-up, and excellent use of sales resources. Proficient with prospecting resources, including InsideView,, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, RainKing, and GovSpend. Eric is also a consummate interpreter of operatic, musical theater, and concert repertoire. The 2017–2018 season saw Wassenaar join Pensacola Opera as an Artist in Residence where he debuted the roles of Goro in Madama Butterfly, The Padre in Man of La Mancha, and served as Soloist in Maria de Buenos Aires. He will also make his debut with the Pensacola Choral Society as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Ariel Ramirez’ Misa Criolla. In the summer of 2017, Wassenaar joined the Chautauqua Opera Company in upstate New York as an Apprentice Artist. Wassenaar delivered a full performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe at the University of Sioux Falls.

 About the Chicago Philharmonic Society

 Founded by musicians of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in 1989, The Chicago Philharmonic Society is a collaboration of over 200 of the highest-level classical musicians in the Midwest. Our orchestra, known as the Chicago Philharmonic, has been called one of the country’s finest symphonic orchestras, and our unique chamber music ensembles perform as Chicago Phil Chamber. The brilliance of our structure is in our versatility – we curate the best ensemble for each concert from our exceptional pool of musicians, be it classical, jazz, pops, movie concerts, outreach programming, and everything else. 

 The Illinois Council of Orchestras has awarded Chicago Philharmonic “Orchestra of the Year’’ (2018), “Programming of the Year” (2019), “Community Relations of the Year” (2019), “Executive Director of the Year” (2020), and “Conductor of the Year” (2021). Find out more about Chicago Philharmonic at

 Upcoming concerts include:

Salute to Vienna: New Year’s Celebration, Dec. 30 @ Symphony Center

Tan Dun: with North America Premiere of Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, Jan. 14 @ Harris Theater

Songs of a Wayfarer: Mahler and Schumann, Feb. 4 @ North Shore Center

Eight Seasons: Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Feb. 14 @ Harris Theater

Chicago Philharmonic with Tank and the Bangas, Feb. 18 @ Auditorium TheatreKishi Bashi: Improvisations on EO9066, April 15 @ Harris Theater

The Batman (2022) Live in Concert, May 6 @ Auditorium Theatre

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