Berkeley Festival and Exhibition’s Robert Cole shifting gears

Posted on: May 30, 2018

“The big news of this year’s Berkeley Festival and Exhibition isn’t who’s coming. It’s who’s leaving,” writes Georgia Rowe in Tuesday’s (5/29) Mercury News (Calif.). “Robert Cole, who founded the biennial early music festival in 1990, has announced that this will be his final season as executive director…. Cole has been essential in Bay Area musical life. A brilliant impresario, he was director of Cal Performances from 1986-2009…. He also played a pivotal role in launching the Green Music Center in Sonoma, which opened in 2012…. During his [Berkeley Festival] tenure, he’s presented world-renowned acts such as Musica Antiqua Köln, Vox Luminis, Jordi Savall and Il Giardino Armonico…. Cole has also programmed local early music specialists in intriguing combinations.… Cole isn’t exactly retiring…. He’s focusing on playing music rather than presenting it. He’s returned to his first instrument, clarinet, and is also playing viola. ‘I’m playing string quartets, clarinet quintets,’ Cole said. ‘I didn’t play for many years—during the time I was a conductor and a manager, I didn’t really have time to practice. Now I’m really into it and actually enjoying it more than I did when I was young.’ ”

Posted May 30, 2018