Assink, 61, who has held the post since 1999, is the fourth Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony since the position was created in 1939. Others were Howard Skinner (1939-1964), Joseph Scafidi (1965-1978) and Peter Pastreich (1978-1999). Assink also served as the Symphony’s General Manager from 1990 to 1994.
"These have been years of enormous change — in society, in technology, in the way Americans think about orchestral music and its place in their lives," Assink said in the release. "I will always cherish my time here and marvel that I have been able to lead an organization unafraid of change and eager to embrace challenges that opened new ways of experiencing music."
Assink is credited with helping expand the symphony's educational and cultural outreach; helping launch the symphony's own own recording label, SFS Media; and bringing it into the digital age with new initiatives involving multiple medial platforms.
"Brent Assink has been a close colleague, friend, and trusted partner for almost 20 years. His tireless advocacy has expanded the orchestra’s impact on music in the Bay Area and beyond," said Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, who has been with the San Francisco Symphony since 1995. "Our music depends on energy, insight and generosity of spirit. These same qualities define Brent. Today, musicians from all over the world know what’s happening here because of projects accomplished under his leadership - projects like American Mavericks, Keeping Score, and our Mahler recording cycle. I am deeply grateful to Brent for his vision and friendship, and for his commitment to make so much possible. The San Francisco Symphony will always bear his imprint."Tweet
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