Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders Network

Connecting emerging arts managers with skill-building and leadership development resources.

Meet a PEALer:

This month’s “Meet a PEALer” features Jesse Montgomery, Manager of Artistic Development at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  Jesse will be hosting our first Fireside Chat of the season, featuring Janet McCall, Executive Director of Contemporary Craft on Wednesday, November 4th.  Register for your free ticket HERE.


Jesse Montgomery

Manager of Artistic Development
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

1. How/why did you get involved in PEAL?

I got involved in PEAL thanks to some gentle nudging from current and former PEALers. I’ve attended PEAL events off and on since I moved to Pittsburgh in 2011, and felt I had finally put down enough Pittsburgh roots to make a real contribution to the group and the Pittsburgh arts community.

2. Who has served as a strong role model for the type of leader you would like to be
My first boss, Jim Mazzaferro at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. Looking back, Jim had the ability to honor the organization’s traditions while always evolving, and did a fantastic job synthesizing input from a wide range of stakeholders.

3. Who is your favorite visual or performing artist?
Am I allowed to say an orchestra? The Pittsburgh Symphony is an amazingly talented group of musicians, but the San Francisco Symphony is still my hometown band. I’m also a big fan of the guitarist Pablo Villegas and the pianist Daniil Trifonov.

4. What was the last book you read?
Fiction: Purity by Jonathan Franzen, Non-fiction: Mover and Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball’s Westward Expansion by Andy McCue.

5. What was the most ridiculous job you ever had?

I did maintenance work for a Brazilian music and dance camp in the redwoods of Northern California. There was drumming going on 24 hours a day.


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