New Director of Cal Performances Appointed

Photo: Matias Tarnopolsky
Matias Tarnopolsky

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Following an almost one-year search for a new director of Cal Performances, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced yesterday the appointment of Matias Tarnopolsky to the post.

Tarnopolsky, currently the vice president for artistic planning at the New York Philharmonic, will take over for current Director Robert Cole beginning August 10.

The director of Cal Performances serves as the executive leader of the organization who provides support the campus's performing arts program.

"What we were looking for was someone who had omnivorous tastes in the performing arts," said Hollis Ashby, associate director of Cal Performances, adding that the search committee reviewed about 100 recommendations and applications.

Cole announced in 2007 his intent to retire from the directorship he has held since 1986.

At a press conference yesterday, Tarnopolsky said he envisions Cal Performances as both a museum and a laboratory where the top specialists in the world can come to execute the performance arts while practitioners create new work, Ashby said.

Since 2006, Tarnopolsky has worked at the New York Philharmonic where he played a large role in recruiting a new music director and establishing new music series. His duties also include planning the season, determining what music will be played and working on endeavors such as educational projects.

Marc Geelhoed, a friend of Tarnopolsky's who was the associate music editor at Time Out Chicago magazine while Tarnopolsky worked at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2006, calls Tarnopolsky forward-thinking and enthusiastic. Tarnopolsky served as the director of programming before becoming the senior director of artistic planning for the orchestra.

"He has this real, honest personal investment in what it is he's trying to do, and I think that energy must be sort of infectious," Geelhoed said.

During his tenure in Chicago, Tarnopolsky helped create a new musical performance series, MusicNOW, and facilitated collaborations with well-known artistic organizations.

"I'm really thrilled to be working with Matias ... and for the campus here to have such a great thinker in its midst," Ashby said.

Contact Angelica Dongallo at [email protected]

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