s
s
Sections
Sections
Subscribe

 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Ste. 410, Santa Rosa 95404; 707-546-7097; santarosasymphony.com

Age: mine is 60, organization is 85

Residence: Santa Rosa

Professional background: Alan Silow has been Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony since July of 2002. During his tenure, the Symphony has returned to a fiscally sound basis that has produced surpluses in both operations and endowment. Mr. Silow played a leadership role in the public/private partnership with Sonoma State University to build a new world-class symphony hall that opened in Fall 2012. The Santa Rosa Symphony is now the largest California regional symphony orchestra north of Los Angeles and the resident orchestra at the world-class Green Music Center. He also currently sits on the Board of the Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau to provide better cross-cultivation between the arts and tourism.

Prior to taking this position, he concluded a successful, three-year tenure as Executive Director of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. Previous positions include Director of Marketing & Public Relations for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, a world-renowned, performing arts organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Executive Director of the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau. During his tenure, readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Santa Fe the top travel destination in the world.

Silow graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an undergraduate B.A. degree in Economics with Honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs. He is married with one son and one yellow Labrador retriever and lives in Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa.

Staff size: 15 administrative staff and 80 musician employees

Describe your organization: The Santa Rosa Symphony was established in 1928, in a time before the Golden Gate Bridge linked Sonoma County to the cultural attractions of San Francisco. Happily, even with the bridge, we don’t have to cross it to experience great live classical music.

Currently in its 85th  season, SRS draws 3,800 season subscribers, from Santa Cruz to Fort Bragg. Over 80 percent of our subscribers renew each year. With 28 subscription performances, plus special concerts, the SRS will entertain over 37,000 audience members this season.

Each year the SRS contributes over $3.7 million into the local economy, maintaining a payroll of 80-plus union musicians as well as a staff of 14 administrative employees. SRS is largest performing arts organization in the North Bay and the third largest regional orchestra in California north of Los Angeles.

In July 2006, Bruno Ferrandis began his tenure as music director and conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Emotional fire, dynamic technique, masterful interpreta­tions, humor, grace and charm only begin to describe this musical artist. He has 25 years of conducting experi­ence with  some of the world’s great opera companies, and the finest orchestras of Europe andAsia. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as well as the Juilliard School, Ferrandis’ breadth of experience includes both stan­dard and avant-garde repertoires, including ballet, musical theater and cinema accompanying music.

World-renowned guest soloists who have appeared with the SRS include: Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn, Jon Kimura Parker, Andre Watts, Lang-Lang, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Thomas Quasthoff.

Major community outreach projects initiated by the SRS include: Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in 1999, Sir Michael Tippet’s A Child of Our Time in 2002 and Matalon’s Metropo­lis in 2008. Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained SRS national attention and support including an American Symphony Orchestra League Metlife Award for Community Engagement.

SRS has received prestigious grants from the Hewlett Foun­dation, the Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Heller Foundation and the Community Foundation Sonoma County.

SRS is supported by a volunteer Symphony League.

SRS concerts are broadcast on Sonoma County’s KRCB radio 91.1 FM and 90.9 FM.

SRS has one of the largest education programs in the country for an organization of its size, with four performing youth orchestras and a Summer Music Academy. Over 4,000 student musicians have passed through the SRS youth ensembles since the first ensemble (the Youth Orchestra) was formed in 1959. SRS distributes thousands of dollars annually in scholarship and tuition assistance.

SRS offers Free Concerts for Youth and In-School Perfor­mances which affect 20,000 students and teachers annually. The education department also offers, free of charge, an Elementary School Listening Program for K-6th grades, a standards-based daily immersion in orchestral music.

The SRS will move to Weill Hall at the Green Music Center (GMC) as the Resident Orchestra beginning with the inaugural season in the Fall of 2012. The 1,400 seat concert hall replicates the outstanding acoustics and intimacy of two of the finest concert halls in the world: the historic Grosser Musikver­einsaal in Vienna (home of the Vienna Philharmonic) and the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood (summer home of the Boston Symphony). As at Ozawa Hall, sliding wall panels at the back of the hall can be opened to allow outdoor seating for up to 3,000.

The GMC will be a world-class facility where the community can learn, create, record, experience and appreciate music. It will be a major economic resource for the entire North Bay region. In addi­tion to music, it will provide premier space for conferences, lecture series and a nationally-significant summer festival.

What is your role in the organization?

Responsible for sustaining the fiscal health of the organization.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Organization being in the black for all my 10 years and still growing in quality and quantity of artistic and educational service to the community.

What is your biggest challenge today?

You mean besides the economy? The need to balance artistic innovation and growth with fiscal long term sustainability.

What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?

Completing a three-year, $4 million dollar “for the love of music” transformation campaign to grow our endowment and support our program expansion.

What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?

Calling a world class new concert hall at the Green Music Center our home as its resident orchestra.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

Increased competition and limited philanthropic dollars will challenge  arts organizations to not only reach new heights of artistic excellence, but also prove their relevancy to their community.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Warren Buffett

Current reading: “Freedom: A Novel” by Jonathan Franzen

Most want to meet: Dalai Lama

Stress relievers: Relaxing in our infrared sauna, walking my yellow lab Sasha.

Favorite hobbies: Cooking for friends, playing tennis , going out to the movies, listening to our concerts.

Words that best describe you: Committed to making a difference in the life of the community I serve.