The New Jersey Festival Orchestra (NJFO) today announces that, following an extensive search, Zachary S. Blutner has been named as the organization’s new Executive Director.

Blutner comes to NJFO with nearly 20 years of experience in both non-profit and for-profit institutions in the tourism and hospitality industries.

 “Zach joins us with a very impressive resume, great enthusiasm, and a hunger to grow NJFO both financially and visibly in Westfield and Morris County,” commented NJFO Board President Keith S. Hertell. “We are very fortunate to have a fully professional, award-winning orchestra right on our doorstep and we’re thrilled to welcome Zach who will bring his management talents as our new executive director to carry the organization forward.”

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Blutner comes to NJFO from Artechouse, New York, where, as General Manager, he directed all aspects of Budgeting, Sales, Marketing and Events. Prior to that he functioned as director of operations and guest experience at One World Observatory in New York City. Under his leadership OWO earned its place atop the most visited tourist attractions in New York City. 

“I’m excited to bring my tourism and hospitality management experience to New Jersey Festival Orchestra and help lead the organization toward a strong and lasting future in central New Jersey and beyond,” stated Blutner.

Blutner will oversee all administrative aspects of the NJFO organization, from finance to fundraising, marketing, operations, and long-range planning as well as helping to develop the orchestra’s critical outreach and education programs. He will work closely with NJFO Music Director and Conductor David Wroe, who is currently in his 24th season of providing leadership for the artistic vision of the organization.

Blutner will partner with Maestro Wroe to explore multiple new and exciting options to reconfigure the NJFO 2020-2021 season in the face of the current performance challenges due to Covid-19. He notes plans for outdoor ensemble concerts, live-streamed and recorded events and expanding the orchestra’s presence on social media and beyond.

“I am looking to build on NJFO growth and success in recent years and help develop innovative ways for NJFO to engage with the community and navigate through the pandemic. Safety, of course, will guide our decisions and I look forward to announcing the re-imagined season and new delivery systems in the very near future,” continued Blutner.

“I’m extremely excited to partner with Zach as our new Executive Director to expand the positive impact our organization can have on our community,” says Music Director Wroe. “We at NJFO remain committed to delivering on our mission to make extraordinary music and bring the joy of world-class musical experiences to audiences in New Jersey.  We look forward to our new season. NJFO will be back — as strong and as vibrant as ever.”

More about Zachary S. Blutner 

Blutner is a native of New York City born and raised in Queens. After graduating from Forest Hills High School, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies at Purdue Global University and a Master’s in Travel and Tourism Management from Temple University.

He started his career at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, overseeing their tour program upon re-opening in 2008.  He prides himself on finding innovative ways to tell stories and bring people together through curated experiences.

In 2015, Blutner was hired as part of the opening management team for One World Observatory, initially leading the City Pulse project and overseeing the VIP experience.  In 2018 Zach was promoted to Director of Operations and Guest Experience.

He has a passion for live experiences and a love for music. Previously working in radio, he often can be found recommending a variety of artists over multiple genres. His wife Amanda is a music teacher in Elizabeth, NJ and an accomplished musician and choral conductor in her own right.  Music plays a major role in their family life.

Zach and Amanda reside in Roselle Park, NJ with their children Eleanor and Alexander and dog Ringo.

About New Jersey Festival Orchestra

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra is a premier, fully professional, symphony orchestra. Founded in Westfield in 1983, NJ Festival Orchestra, led by renowned Music Director David Wroe, has grown to become one of New Jersey’s largest professional orchestras, having a presence throughout many cultural communities of New Jersey, and appearing as far afield as Carnegie Hall on a regular basis.

The name New Jersey Festival Orchestra reflects an ongoing celebration of the diversity of music and the creation of experiences that stretch the boundaries of traditional classical performances. NJFO programs include classics from the orchestral repertory as well as offerings that showcase the fusion of fine arts and popular culture. This unique and dynamic approach to programming further brings classical music to life and creates an ongoing 'festival' of compelling presentations.

In addition to an adventurous subscription season, popular concerts near and far, and a rousing New Year’s Eve celebration, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra sponsors educational and music therapy programs throughout the state of New Jersey.