Assink keeps things fresh in San Francisco Symphony post

Posted on: August 31, 2009

In Sunday’s (8/30) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman profiles San Francisco Symphony Executive Director Brent Assink. “He’s helped usher in a new era of congenial relations between the orchestra’s musicians and management. He’s shepherded the Symphony’s annual budget of almost $60 million through the upheavals of recent years without letting red ink accumulate. He’s been a strong and supportive partner to Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and he’s worked to make sure that the Symphony is a good citizen in the sometimes fractious world of the local arts community.” Assink got his start in orchestras by volunteering at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra while doing graduate studies in musicology at the University of Minnesota. Having been executive director in San Francisco for ten years, Assink believes it’s important to keep renewing his approach. “One of the techniques I use to keep myself on track,” he says, “is to imagine myself as Brent Assink’s successor, going through the files here and thinking ‘What was he thinking?’ or ‘Here’s an opportunity he missed.’ And I want to leave as little of that stuff behind me as possible.”

Posted August 21, 2009