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Symphony Manager In New Job

March 07, 1985|HERMAN WONG | Times Staff Writer

Topper Smith, general manager of the Orange County Pacific Symphony for the past 13 months, has resigned to take an administrative post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Effective immediately, Smith will serve as orchestra manager of the Pasadena-based organization, reporting to executive director Robert Elias. (Smith had succeeded Elias as Pacific Symphony general manager in late January, 1984.)

According to Raymond Ikola, president of the Pacific Symphony Assn. board, no replacement for Smith has been chosen.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Smith said his Pacific Symphony duties had overlapped substantially with those of Keith Clark, who is founder and music director of the orchestra, based in Fullerton.

"What they need is someone whose specialties are marketing and (fund) development. Those areas are not what I do best. I have always preferred the music aspects, and to have both Keith and me doing the same thing is silly," Smith said. He added that he will continue as an adviser to the symphony.

As orchestra manager for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Smith will oversee personnel and other contractual relations. Smith previously has held administrative posts with the USC School of Performing Arts and the Long Beach Symphony, and has taught at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Germany and Austria.

According to Ikola, Smith's resignation is not linked to the Pacific Symphony's financial problems. The symphony is falling short of its fund-raising targets to meet its $1-million operating budget for the 1984-85 season. "It looks like we're going to make only about 60% of our corporate underwriting," Ikola said. "But I assure you there will be no cuts in the programming.

Ikola said a search had not yet been started for Smith's successor. He emphasized that Smith's departure will not adversely affect the orchestra's performance schedule. "We've covered the bases pretty well. We do need a replacement, but it's not critical."

Ikola said Smith "will help us out on some programs through the transition. He will do a few things from time to time until we work through the transition."

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