Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, is responsible for the artistic oversight and coordination of the orchestra’s programming, as well as the organization’s production, orchestra operations, media, and educational initiatives. Working closely with Music Directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and now Gustavo Dudamel, Smith’s tenure with the orchestra has been defined by ground-breaking artistic initiatives, including the launch of new orchestral series, major multi-disciplinary projects, dozens of festivals, and an unparalleled commitment to composers and the music of today. He has also overseen the launch of many of the organization’s defining educational programs, including YOLA, a program which has provided daily after-school music training to thousands of children in several of LA’s most underserved communities.
Smith first joined the LA Phil in 2002, where he was responsible for planning the orchestra’s Green Umbrella new music series, as well as its classical programming at the Hollywood Bowl. After briefly serving as the New York Philharmonic’s head artistic planner, in 2006 he returned to the LA Phil in the expanded role of Vice-President of Artistic Planning, a position he held until being named COO in 2015.
Smith began his career in 2000 at the New World Symphony, working closely with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Music Academy of the West and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Avery Fisher Artist Program. A native of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he earned a B.A. in European history from Tufts University, as well as B.M. and M.M. degrees in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory.
(Liz) spearheads the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation’s venture philanthropy program and serves as Board Chair of Levitt Pavilions, a national nonprofit that empowers communities by transforming neglected public spaces into welcoming music destinations where all feel welcome. Liz travels throughout the country to bring the message of Levitt to national recognition. She is best known for her ability to connect and inspire like-minded people and for directing her life-long passion for the performing arts into a source for social change that strengthens communities.
Beyond Levitt Pavilions, Liz has a long and distinguished history of hands-on involvement with charitable organizations, serving on numerous nonprofit boards and supporting organizations that foster social justice and access to the arts. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1974, the native New Yorker has served on the boards of The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Camera West and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Liz currently serves on the boards of Center Dance Arts (Founding Board Member) and Hollywood Arts (Founding Board Member). On behalf of each of these organizations, Liz has hosted and chaired galas and provided strategic direction to ensure the long-term viability of each.
Some of Liz’s recognitions include: 2013 Honorary Citizen Award from the City of Memphis; 2013 recipient of the Ruby McKnight Williams Award from the NAACP (Pasadena chapter); 2012 Finalist for the Vanguard Award presented by the Western Arts Alliance; 2011 Guest of Honor at The Joyce benefit in New York City; 2011 Guest of Honor at the Empowering HeARTS benefit for Single Mothers Outreach; 2009 finalist for the Philanthropist of the Year by Association of Fundraising Professionals, Los Angeles; 2008 Philanthropy Award from the Gabrielle Axelrad Foundation; and 2003 Certificate of Commendation from California State Assembly/Carol Liu.
Artistic Director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He began his dancing career at The Joffrey Ballet where, mentored by Robert Joffrey, he performed leading roles in the company’s contemporary and classical repertoire for 11 years. In 1989, Edgerton joined the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater, and after dancing for five years retired from performing to become artistic director of the main company, leading NDT1 for a decade and presenting the works of Jiri Kylian, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, Johan Ingar, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, among others.From 2006 to 2008, he directed the Colburn Dance Institute at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Edgerton joined Hubbard Street as associate artistic director in 2008; since 2009 as artistic director, he has built upon more than three decades of leadership in dance performance, education and appreciation established by founder Lou Conte and continued by Conte’s successor, Jim Vincent.
Philanthropist Glorya Kaufman began her love for dance standing on her father’s toes before she could walk. This love affair, along with the family’s tradition of giving, has translated into her twin passions for dance and care for the disadvantaged.
Glorya Kaufman had a lifelong love for and involvement with dance. Through her experience over the years, she discovered and appreciates the enormous potential of dance to heal the body, mind and spirit of people, and recognizes the universal appeal of dance and its ability to cross socio-cultural boundaries that often separate people and bring them together, as well as facilitating their ability to communicate with one another.
The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation is a private foundation that provides funding and support to non-profit organizations in the United States. Philanthropist Glorya Kaufman has funded a broad spectrum of projects ranging from pediatric mobile eye care to the Glorya Kaufman Hall at UCLA the core of her giving being programs and facilities that directly affect at risk children.
In 2008 the Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation was established, deeply seated in Glorya Kaufman’s love for dance and her belief that dance is a tool that is restorative to the mind, body and spirit of people. The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation is participating in many community projects, among them:
Providing dance teachers for perpetuity to an art school in South Central called “Inner City Arts”.
Creating a dance facility at the Mar-Vista Hispanic Family. Center Exposing 28,000 students and 230 schools to live dance performances at the Los Angeles Music Center
Giving rise to a dancing studio at the New York Julliard School Bringing the best dancing performers in the world to the “GK presents” at the Los Angeles Music Center.
In 2012, founding the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California
Glorya Kaufman’s generosity will ensure that future generations will be able to experience the joy of dancing and also seeks to extend a dancer’s career by focusing on wellness. Dance is being recognized as a tool to support health programs for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and many forms of psychological and emotional ailments. The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation is supporting that effort with programs such as Creating Health through Movement at City of Hope.
Currently a Vice President with the NOARUS Auto Group. He is a graduate from Cal Arts in Valencia CA, and lived in New York City for 25 years, dancing with the companies of Twyla Tharp, American Ballet Theatre, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance project. Mr. Bishton received a New York Dance and Performance award, “BESSIE” for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 1995. In November of 2000, Mr. Bishton was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from California Institute of the Arts. His own company JAMIE BISHTON | Dance showcased his talents as a choreographer, and dancer. In 2004, Mr. Bishton became a Producer with Dancers Responding to AIDS a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, working closely with the New York dance community helping to raise much needed funds for AIDS and family services. Mr. Bishton sits on the Board of Directors of the Broad Stages, Santa Monica and is the Chairman of the Board of BODYTRAFFIC, named as one of the “Best of Culture” dance companies for 2013 by the Los Angeles Times.
Was the first woman partner in the consulting arm of KPMG, the international professional services firm, where she served for twenty-five years. After retiring from the firm in 2003, Jane found herself in the process of Changing Lanes which is the title of the book she co-authored on the topic. Along with photographer Barbara Mack, she wrote Portraits in Black and White: Holocaust Survivors of Café Europa, published by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and presented in an exhibit at the museum. Ms. Jelenko has also published several articles on dance and continues to blog on the subject of living a meaningful life at www.aguidetochanginglanes.com.
She serves on several corporate and community boards including SunAmerica Funds, Cathay Bank, BODYTRAFFIC, The Dizzy Feet Foundation, and the Gabriella Education Foundation. She is the founding president and a board member of Center Dance Arts, the founding support organization for Dance at the Music Center.
Ms. Jelenko graduated cum laude in Mathematics from Barnard College in 1970 and earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Southern California in 1977. She is a writer, weekly Torah student, wife, mother, step-mom and step-grandmother, constantly striving to compose a life of balance and fulfillment.
Three-time Emmy winner Lythgoe has been a pioneer in reality television and a driving force in the world of performing arts as the co-creator, executive producer and judge on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, which has won 14 Emmy Awards, and the executive producer of the TV juggernaut AMERICAN IDOL, which has been nominated for nearly 70 Emmy Awards.
Nigel Lythgoe was born in St. Helen’s, Lancashire, England. He and his family moved to Liverpool, where he began tap dancing at 11 years of age. He became the only person to dance in, choreograph, direct and produce the Royal Variety Performance for Her Majesty the Queen of England.
He has worked with stars such as Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Cyd Charisse, Chita Rivera, Shirley Bassey and, most prestigiously, the Muppets.
Lythgoe produced the charity spin-off “Idol Gives Back,” which raised more than $170 million. In 2007, it received the prestigious Governors Award, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ highest honor. Additionally, Lythgoe was awarded the International Emmy Founders Award, presented to him in New York by Lady Gaga, recognizing him for his indelible imprint on the TV industry and a body of work that crosses cultural boundaries and speaks to our common humanity.
In 2009, the U.K.’s University of Bedfordshire awarded Dr. Lythgoe with an honorary Doctor of Arts for his outstanding contribution to the performing arts in television.
Also In 2009, Lythgoe was the co-founder of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States in under privileged communities.
In 2010, Lythgoe created National Dance Day. Recognized by a Congressional resolution, National Dance Day falls on the last Saturday in July and promotes dance as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
In 2014 Nigel was awarded the Ellis Island International Medal of Honor.
In 2015 he was named on Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors List and awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his work in Education, Charity and the Arts.
He serves on the Board of Directors for The Music Center, Turnaround Arts, LA’s Best, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the USC Kaufman Board of Councilors.
Lythgoe resides in Los Angeles.
Renae Williams-Niles is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the newly established University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, overseeing various administrative aspects of the school. For close to 11 years, she worked for The Music Center eventually serving as Vice President of Programming. There she curated the presentation of 50 internationally-acclaimed ballet and contemporary companies, led the commissioning of new works and projects such as LA Dance Project and Slow Dancing, multi-disciplinary collaborations with LA Opera, LA Philharmonic and Center Theatre Group as well as created new programs such as the site-specific Moves After Dark and main stage projects such as BalletNow. She also oversaw family programming and DIY/ participatory art-making. Before joining The Music Center, she served as the Director of Grant Programs for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and participated in their artist selection process for the Ford Amphitheatre and also worked with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre as Company Manager as well as with Grand Performances as Special Projects/Marketing Manager. Renae has served as a grant review panelist for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, United States Artists, among many others. She recently served as the president of the Western Arts Alliance and more recently Renae joined the National Association of Performing Arts Professionals board. Renae serves on the advisory boards for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Dizzy Feet Foundation and BODYTRAFFIC. She also served on the board of trustees for Dance/USA. She is an alumna of the USC School of Journalism, Public Relations and currently resides in Culver City, CA with her husband, three children, and a small dog.