President, University Musical Society
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ken Fischer is the President of the University Musical Society (UMS), a 136-year-old independent multi-disciplinary performing arts presenter with a long and deep affiliation with the University of Michigan (U-M). Each season UMS presents 60-90 performances, sponsors an extensive education program, commissions and presents new work, and hosts many artists’ residencies. Since Ken joined UMS in 1987, UMS has expanded and diversified its programming and audiences; deepened its engagement with U-M and southeast Michigan communities; created effective partnerships with corporations, arts organizations, educational institutions, and community organizations; and received significant support from leading foundations and the NEA. For more on UMS, visit www.ums.org.
Ken has contributed to the presenting field as speaker, workshop leader, writer, consultant, panelist, and U.S. State Department cultural ambassador to Brazil, China, Lithuania, and Mexico. He chairs the board of National Arts Strategies and is a board member of the Sphinx Organization, International Society for the Performing Arts, and Arts Midwest. He has served on the boards of and remains active with Interlochen Center for the Arts, Arts Presenters, Classical Action/Performing Arts Against AIDS, and Chamber Music America. He is also active with Major University Presenters. He served as chair of the SNAAP National Advisory Board from 2008-14 and remains a Board member.
Ken received ISPA’s 2003 Patrick Hayes Award and Arts Presenters’ 2011 Fan Taylor Award for his career achievements and service to the presenting field and will receive the 2016 Richard J. Bogomolny Distinguished Service Award from Chamber Music America for his contributions to the chamber music field.
Before UMS Ken was a higher education association executive, management consultant, and independent concert presenter in Washington, DC. Ken has degrees from The College of Wooster and the University of Michigan. His wife is flutist Penelope Peterson Fischer and their son Matt is senior director of the App Store at Apple and lives with his wife Renee and their sons Alex and Reid in the San Francisco Bay area.