“San Francisco Performances has named Melanie Smith, a longtime arts administrator who is currently the executive director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, as its new president,” reports Joshua Kosman in Wednesday’s (5/11) San Francisco Chronicle. “On Aug. 1, she will succeed founder Ruth Felt, who is retiring from the 37-year-old presenting organization. The appointment marks something of a professional homecoming for Smith, a 52-year-old California native. Before joining the Girls Chorus in 2006, she spent nine years with S.F. Performances as the organization’s director of education and artistic development. … In describing her plans for the $3 million organization, which presents some 50 events annually in classical music, modern dance and jazz, Smith paid tribute to Felt’s success in creating a distinctive niche in the world of arts presenting.” Smith mentions Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and “said she plans to continue co-presenting with the San Francisco Symphony—the two organizations have joined forces to present Davies Hall recitals by such stars as violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist András Schiff—and is looking for other collaborative opportunities.” Smith grew up near Modesto, California, and studied voice at California State University, Stanislaus. She also worked at Carnegie Hall, the Midori Foundation, and Young Concert Artists.

Posted May 11, 2016