Giving the Gift of Leadership and Music

For most of us, music plays a small part of everyday life. It is playing in the background during a car ride, lifting our spirits when we are feeling down, and reminding us of past experiences with loved ones. For Nancy Laturno, CEO of Mainly Mozart, music plays an integral role in both her personal and professional life.

Tell us about your role at Mainly Mozart:
I co-founded Mainly Mozart in 1988. Originally, it was a two-week festival featuring an all-star orchestra consisting of North America’s top orchestral musicians. Since then, I have been responsible for the organization’s strategic and artistic direction as CEO, with the support of incredibly talented and innovative staff and a strong and committed Board.

How would you characterize your leadership style?
My style has changed greatly over the years. Experience and age have loosened my involvement in details, though it is probably more thanks to an extremely strong staff with skills and talents different than mine, but whose values and vision align. I strive for everything we do to be worthy of what we put on stage and of the patrons who believe in us. At the end of the day, I want the Mainly Mozart team to feel that we are making a difference, often doing the impossible, and doing it with integrity.

What inspires your love for music?
I love a wide range of genres – classical, R&B, jazz, country, opera, rock – and I believe absolutely in the healing power of music. I am not a musician, which separates me from most of my colleagues, but I have spent most of my career in classical music, beginning as Marketing Director at the San Diego Symphony, followed by 34 years running Mainly Mozart. Exposure to glorious music played at an exceptional level opened my ear and inspired my passion for classical music. Just as important have been the incredible people who create the music and have nurtured my appreciation.

What can we expect from the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra this summer?
Magic. What happens on the Mainly Mozart stage when our All-Star Orchestra is assembled can only be understood by being there. Serious classical musicians will hear the difference and newer listeners will feel it. Music Director Michael Francis’s narration during each performance will deepen the listeners’ experience enormously. We will have incredible soloists, including violinist Augustin Hadelich and cellist Maximilian Hornung, glorious music, and an orchestra like no other.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
Above all, I cherish my time with family and friends. I practice yoga daily and scuba dive whenever I am near warm water (my favorite spot is Mahahual). I stopped kick-boxing during quarantine and am eager to get back, though I dread starting over! I love travel, but home-time is very important to me. I serve on the Art of Autism Board, and if life ever slows down, I would love to devote more time to this incredible organization.