Up and Down the Scale: Spring and Summer 2018

Sharing the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made spring and summer of 2018.


The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Marty Behr, Betty Ferris, and Jacki Reinhardt of Santa Rosa, and Andrew Lewis of San Francisco. 

Paolo Bortolameolli will continue as assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic through the 2018-19 season, serving as cover conductor for Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and guest conductors. Bortolameolli, who was appointed in the 2017-18 season, was a Dudamel Fellow during in 2016-17. He makes his debut in the Hollywood Bowl’s classical series on August 2, conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Joana Carneiro, whose adventurous artistic vision and leadership has garnered both critical acclaim and audience praise, has announced that she will step down as Berkeley Symphony’s music director as of the end of the 2017-2018 season and after nine seasons at its artistic helm. Carneiro will stay on as Music Director Emerita. A committee has been formed to seek the next Music Director and to determine the best approach for the future of Berkeley Symphony. Guest conductors Ming Luke, Jonathon Heyward, Christopher Rountree, and Christian Reif have been scheduled to conduct the four symphonic concerts planned for the 2018-2019 season.

San Francisco Symphony (SFS) Executive Director Mark C. Hanson announced the appointment of David Chambers as Chief Revenue and Advancement Officer. In this role, Chambers will serve as a key member of the Symphony’s senior leadership team and will guide the institutional vision for the organization’s philanthropic, audience, and volunteer development goals. Chambers begins his new post on October 22, 2018.

The Santa Rosa Symphony proudly announces Francesco Lecce-Chong as its fifth Music Director beginning with the 2018-2019 season. His responsibilities will include conducting the orchestra, choosing repertoire for upcoming seasons (starting with 2019-2020) and shaping the artistic vision of the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Lee Chu, an investment analyst, and Anne-Marie Spataru who enjoyed a 30-year-career in project management with the UCLA Capital Programs Department, have been appointed to three-year terms on the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), announced Executive Director Scott Harrison. LACO is renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire, adventurous commissioning initiatives and commitment to the Los Angeles community.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association has announced the four conductors who will participate in the 2018/19 Dudamel Fellowship Program: Nuno Coelho, Stephen Mulligan, Elena Schwarz, and Jesús Uzcátegui. Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, created the Dudamel Fellowship Program in 2009 to provide a unique opportunity for promising young conductors from around the world to develop their craft and enrich their musical experience through personal mentorship and participation in the LA Phil's orchestral, education, and community programs.

The La Jolla Music Society’s board of directors announced Monday July 22nd that it had selected Susan T. Danis as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. She has spent the past six years as the CEO and executive director of Florida Grand Opera, and she replaces Kristin Lancino. Her selection comes just eight months before next April’s opening of the nonprofit arts organization’s new La Jolla home, the $78.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti has signed a three-year contract extension with the Santa Barbara Symphony, with plans to continue to bring high-quality performances of interest to Santa Barbara audiences. The Board of Directors enthusiastically approved the contract with compliments to Kabaretti and excitement about the current and coming seasons.

Orchestra Santa Monica (OSM) is proud to introduce Roger Kalia as its new Music Director and Conductor. He will be starting his duties with OSM this upcoming 2018-2019 season and is planning an exciting offering of concert programs for the community. At present, Kalia is entering his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony and Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Kalia also serves as Co-Founder and Music Director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, which was recently featured in the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony Magazine as one of the premier summer classical music festivals in the country. Earlier this month he was announced as one of the 2018 recipients of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, a sign that he is recognized as a serious up and coming artist.

Music Director Carl St. Clair named Dennis Kim as Pacific Symphony’s new concertmaster. Mr. Kim officially assumes the Eleanor and Michael Gordon Concertmaster Chair in September for the orchestra’s 40th anniversary season. As concertmaster-designate, he will be featured in four performances June 14-17, playing the extensive solos in Strauss’ “A Hero’s Life.”

The Santa Barbara Symphony continues to strengthen the vision and enhance the value of the organization to Santa Barbara residents and visitors. Kate Kurlas joins the team in August as Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Revenue Initiatives. The Santa Barbara Symphony also named Blaine Inafuku director of artistic administration, effective July 2. Inafuku has previously worked in artistic and operations-management roles at the Seattle Symphony, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A classically trained percussionist, he performed with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Seattle Symphony, among others, and abroad with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Blaine earned a master of music degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois; a bachelor of music from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois; and holds a professional performance certificate from Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Chief Executive Officer Simon Woods announced the appointment of Philip Koester to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Koester joins the LA Phil from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, where he was Vice President for Sales and Marketing, and assumes his new position on September 10, 2018. His responsibilities will include the leadership and management of all marketing, communications, and sales operations for the organization, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Chad Smith.

The Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Long Beach Symphony, a non-profit corporation serving as the endowment fund for the Long Beach Symphony Association has named Genevieve Macias as its first Executive Director since its inception in 1986. Macias is also a board member of the Association of Symphony Orchestras.

ACSO board president Alan Mason, who is also a board member of the Santa Rosa Symphony, was elected to the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras at that organization's annual national conference on June 15.

Marin Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale’s horizons are expanding. It was announced July 17th that he has been chosen from among three finalists (out of 150 international candidates) to become the 11th Music Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He will continue as Music Director of the Marin Symphony, where he is beginning his 18th season, and also as Music Director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, where he will conduct his 24th season this August.

Ginny Riffey has been appointed as Interim Executive Director at Music in the Mountains. She will start to work immediately, overlapping until June 2nd with the present executive director, and will continue while a search is conducted for her permanent replacement.

The San Diego Symphony announced the appointment of Lea Slusher as vice president for artistic administration and audience development. Slusher has been with Carnegie Hall since 1994 in various artistic roles and in 2007 began serving as director, artistic project. Most recently, she began programming Carnegie Hall Citywide, which presents more than 30 free concerts per year throughout New York City to underserved arts communities. Slusher will join the artistic team on August 1. Gerard McBurney will also join the artistic planning team as a creative consultant, working with the programming team to create unique content to enhance the concert experience.

San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory's (SDYS) Board of Directors is saddened to announce that its president and CEO, Dalouge Smith, will be stepping down on July 29 to accept a new position as CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. Amber Weber, SDYS' current Deputy Director, will be appointed Acting President/CEO upon Dalouge's departure while the Board of Directors conducts a national executive search for a new President and CEO.

As part of the Philharmonic Society, the Orange County Youth Symphony has announced its 2018/19 season as the tenth and final year under the musical direction of Daniel Alfred Wachs. Serving as its charismatic conductor for the last decade, Wachs has led the orchestra to new heights including commissions by Mark Anthony Turnage, two Walt Disney Concert Hall appearances, a PBS documentary, and tours to the United Kingdom and Spain. This was acknowledged at the 48th season finale concert at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Sunday, May 13, 2018.


Highlighting the groundswell of innovation occurring at smaller-budget orchestras and youth orchestras across the country, the California Symphony is just one of seventeen orchestras that have received $30,000 American Orchestras' Futures Fund grants from the League of American Orchestras, made possible with the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.

The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras is pleased to announce that the Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild has won an Award of Excellence in the annual Gold Book competition for their project titled Romanian Rhapsody. The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild supports the Las Vegas Philharmonic in its education initiatives and community outreach. The award will be presented at the League’s National Conference in Chicago, IL from June 13-15, 2018.

As the Music Academy of the West (MAW) heads into a second historic collaboration with a major international symphony orchestra — this time it’s the London Symphony — the school’s Academy Festival Orchestra will be stepping up its game as well in a couple of ways. First there’s the four-concert orchestral series at the Granada, which will challenge the young musicians not only with grand works of the concert repertoire, such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”, but also with new music, including two West Coast premieres and one American premiere. Then, for the finale of the summer, the Academy Festival Orchestra (AFO) will exit the Granada and enter the Santa Barbara Bowl on Saturday, August 11, for an ambitious community concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and two world-renowned vocal soloists for Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”.

On Monday, March 26, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale won an Isadora Duncan Award for dance in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Restaging, Revival or Reconstruction. Stage Director and choreographer Catherine Turocy was there to accept the award.

The San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (AIM) program celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. As a partnership between the Symphony and the San Francisco Unified School District, AIM provides robust music education programming every year, free of charge, to every San Francisco public school student between first and fifth grades. Under AIM, professional ensemble groups like Brass Roots perform at each of the district’s 76 schools. Alongside the performances, the program provides lesson plans and materials — from journals and CDs to kazoos and harmonicas — enhancing the performances and incorporating them into the curriculum and Common Core Standards. Each year, the program culminates in a class trip to a San Francisco Symphony performance just for students at Davies Symphony Hall, this year set for May 14-18.

The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) Board of Directors, recognizing the enormity of its education programs' impact on the community, has rebranded the SRS Music Education Department’s activities under the new umbrella - the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education. The Institute is an integrated approach to music education in the broadest sense of the term, coordinating all aspects of music education for young people and adults. The Institute has renamed two of its three top-level youth ensembles: Preparatory Orchestra becomes Santa Rosa Symphony Debut Youth Orchestra, Repertory Orchestra becomes Santa Rosa Symphony Aspirante Youth Orchestra, and Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra keeps its name. All three will have new conductors in the 2018-2019 season, with the hiring of Alan Aníbal for SRS Debut Youth Orchestra and Dana Sadava for the SRS Aspirante Youth Orchestra. Robert Rogers, who has been leading the latter since 2011, will now conduct the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra recently hosted the Young Composers Festival, which began Thursday, May 17, and included free workshops, lectures, expert panels and performances by the orchestra to mark the end of the project’s 25th year. The Young Composers Project, open to youths 8 to 18, gives students the tools and resources to compose music, and the opportunity to hear their original works played by a full orchestra, an experience Gomez calls “priceless.” The TSO program is the largest and longest running of its kind, producing 375 original student compositions to date.

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