Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: October 3, 2022 / 2022 NextUp: 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Leading a major cultural organization through challenging times

Carolyn Nishon, executive director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra
Carolyn Nishon, 37  Executive director, Portland Symphony Orchestra  Click here to see all 40 Under 40 honorees  
More Information

Professional accomplishment: Navigating the Portland Symphony through the pandemic. We remained and continue to be focused on the health and safety of the musicians, staff, and audience while making music for our community. I clicked PSO TV on my ROKU, and had the sounds and images of the PSO fill my living room. I was so proud of the whole organization.

Passion project: Film photography. I love that in a roll of film, you are limited to just 36 exposures. Each shot is precious, it requires patience, a willingness to wait for the right moment to press the shutter, and delayed gratification in receiving the images back after development.

Audacious goal: Living my life in a way that creates a kind, open space for people to make something meaningful — as individuals, as partners, as families, and as teams.

Favorite quote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” — Henry David Thoreau

Influential book: “Bird by Bird,” by Anne LaMott

Favorite movies/TV shows: “Star Wars” (original trilogy), “Young Frankenstein” and “Parks and Recreation.”

How do you recharge: Trips around New England, travel with my high school best friends, and making my baby daughter Sanna laugh!

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF