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Joana Carneiro Wins Helen M. Thompson Award

June 18, 2010

joana.jpegThe League of American Orchestras has bestowed its Helen M. Thompson Award on Joana Carneiro, the fabulous young artistic director of the Berkeley Symphony.

According to information from The League, the award "recognizes Carneiro's commitment to expanding the community base of the Berkeley Symphony and furthering the orchestra's tradition of presenting the works of composers of our time. In only one season, Carneiro's exceptional talent has inspired the musicians of the BSO and raised their performance level. Her appointment of composer Gabriela Lena Frank as Creative Advisor has resulted in new relationships with community organizations and deeper connections with audiences. Audience response to Carneiro's leadership can be gauged by the orchestra's record-breaking subscription rate for next season."

Joana certainly seems to be shaking things up in Berkeley, an organization which has moved quite slowly, from what I gather, in previous years. The audience appears to be very responsive to her and the orchestra is playing beautifully. 

Joana has achieved a tremendous amount in a short period of time. But I'll be curious to see whether she gets to fulfill her more eclectic plans for the orchestra, such as instituting a wide-ranging audience engagement program around the regular concert series. Budgets are tight and even small projects can take a lot of effort to get off the ground. 

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