At Berkeley Symphony, executive director balances business and art

Posted on: October 18, 2013

Thursday’s (10/17) SFist.com (San Francisco) includes an unsigned interview with Rene Mandel, executive director since 2011 of California’s Berkeley Symphony, where he previously served as the orchestra’s principal second violin. He describes music director Joana Carneiro as “very collaborative. There may be certain projects she may want to do, some big pieces or some specific project that she has in mind. We talk about first of all, if we can make it happen, if we can afford it.… There was an article in the NYTimes a few days ago, about players who have become executive director. They talked to the New Jersey Symphony, the St Paul Chamber orchestra, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, who just named musicians to be their director.… I think it’s a good trend, it’s one of the reasons that I went into this. I felt there was a disconnect between management and musicians.… In the orchestra world, in the non-profit world, you can never rest. When you finish one year in the black, after your moment of relief, the work starts right again. One thing I’m grateful at Berkeley is … our primary focus is to make sure that the artistic product happens at the highest level we can afford.”

Posted October 18, 2013