Ken Fischer

President Emeritus

University Musical Society

Ken Fischer is the President Emeritus of UMS, the organization at the University of Michigan (U-M) that has been presenting the finest dance, theater, and music from around the world in Ann Arbor since 1879. In 2015 Ken accepted the National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the U.S. government, on behalf of UMS from President Obama at the White House. During Ken’s 30-year tenure, UMS greatly expanded and diversified its programming and its audiences; deepened its engagement with the University and southeast Michigan communities; created exemplary partnerships with leading corporations, arts organizations, educational institutions, and community organizations; and received significant endowment grants awarded by the leading foundations in the arts. Ken was a member and officer on the APAP board and received the Fan Taylor Award in 2011 and the North Award in 2016. Ken is currently writing a book on his arts career and is teaching a course in Arts Leadership at U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Ken, who has degrees from The College of Wooster and U-M, worked in higher education and management consulting in Washington, DC before UMS. He is married to professional flutist Dr. Penny Fischer. Their son Matt, who is married with two sons, is Vice President of Apple and oversees the App Store.

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