The Louisville Orchestra prepares for its 2018-19 season. | Courtesy of Louisville Orchestra

Since Andrew Kipe’s departure from the Louisville Orchestra on Aug. 8, the organization has named an interim executive director. Louisville native Ken Johnson will fill Kipe’s shoes temporarily, according to a news release sent out on Wednesday.

Johnson has worked with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, and, before that, spent many years in human resources for companies like IBM and Lexmark Corp. He’s also worked as a consultant with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and the Make A Wish Foundation.

Johnson will work closely with Music Director Teddy Abrams.

“I am very pleased to partner with Teddy Abrams to continue the Louisville Orchestra’s mission of changing the very idea of what a 21st century orchestra can be and do,” said Johnson in the news release. “The community will continue to see innovation, creativity and excellence. I was a beneficiary of Robert Whitney’s legacy program, MakingMusic, and it is an honor to be a part of such a rich tradition in my hometown.”

Ken Johnson

Johnson will start immediately.

John P. Malloy, president of the Louisville Orchestra Board, said he’s looking forward to continuing the artistic/administrative partnership the organization fostered between Abrams and Kipe.

“Ken is a very qualified and capable individual with the administrative skills, passion and commitment to Abrams’ goal of opening minds and hearts to the power of music,” said Malloy.

The Louisville Orchestra’s 2018-19 season begins on Sunday, Sept. 9, with a free season preview at the Iroquois Amphitheater. After that, Bob Bernhardt will conduct the famous scores of John Williams on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."