Departing San Francisco Symphony Executive Director Brent Assink sets a new course

Posted on: March 24, 2017

“Like the best composers, Brent Assink has mastered polyphonic listening,” writes Lou Fancher in Wednesday’s (3/22) East Bay Times (CA). “During 18 years as executive director with San Francisco Symphony, keeping an ‘ear to the street’ attuned the 61-year-old Walnut Creek resident to the interests of audiences, funders and educators. Regular piano playing connected Assink to his early life as a musician and composer.… Always, symphony concerts in San Francisco’s Davies Hall and other venues worldwide kept music vibrant not just in his ears, but in his soul.… Arriving at the San Francisco Symphony in 1990 from St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Assink served as general manager for four years. Ping-ponging back to SPCO for five years as president, Assink returned to SFS as executive director in 1999…. Major innovations launched at the symphony—beyond Assink’s handling of 220 annual concerts and a $77.9 million budget—include SFS Media, the symphony’s in-house audio/video recording label; Keeping Score, an interactive website introducing classical music to the public; Soundbox, a highly successful experimental concert venue; and education and community programs.” Says Assink, “My successor must above all love the music. Be nimble, sharp, respect the demands placed on professional musicians, connect and be responsive to the community because audiences want to know our musicians better.”

Posted March 24, 2017