By Randi Bjornstad

About now, it’s reasonable to wonder if Dave Moss might be second-guessing his acceptance to become the new executive director of the Eugene Symphony. After all, his last gig was with the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra, where this week the temperatures are forecast to be in the high-70s.

That, of course, compares with the highs on his first official days with the orchestra which peaked pretty much at 50 degrees or so, and as anyone can see looking out a window, it’s been downhill ever since.

Of course, Moss has faced challenges as bad or worse as the weather before. He joined the Hawaii orchestra early in 2020, just in time to confront the challenges of the COVID pandemic, which of course led to financial straits and declining attendance — or worse — among audiences, where his leadership resulted in increasing 2020 ticket sales of only $165,000 to $1.3 million two years later.

Dave Moss has just begun his new job as executive director of the Eugene Symphony.

He proved himself there in terms of bolstering financial support from foundations and individual subscribers, as well as broadening the symphony’s repertoire and taking the orchestra out of the concert hall and into the community to enhance its presence as a valued part of the arts. For those accomplishments, he recently won recognition as one of Hawaii’s Most Admired Leaders by the Pacific Business News and also the Publishers Choice Award from Pacific Edge Magazine.

Moss has music in his own background, beginning as a violist educated at the Juilliard School in New York City and Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio. He has performed with prominent orchestras and in concert halls ranging from Disney Concert Hall to Carnegie Hall. Well beyond traditional classical music, Moss’ résumé also includes playing with stars ranging from Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Renee Fleming to Jon Batiste, Kanye (now Ye) West, and The Who, as well as in the Chicago production of Hamilton.

Oh, and by the way, he shouldn’t be totally flummoxed by bad winter weather, because previous to Hawaii, he was executive director of the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago, known for average daily winter temperatures hovering in the mid-30s F.

Moss comes to Eugene with his wife, Katherine Lynch Moss, and their daughter, Bridget.

As executive director of Eugene Symphony, Moss has several immediate tasks. In addition to general administrative leadership and forging continuing relationships with the community and symphony patrons, he also will work with a search committee charged with finding a successor to the popular and dynamic Francesco Lecce-Chong, now in his last year with the orchestra.