“Brent Assink, the San Francisco Symphony’s innovative and cool-headed executive director, will step down in March after 18 years in the position,” writes Joshua Kosman in Tuesday’s (9/27) San Francisco Chronicle (subscription required). “Assink, 61, said in an interview this week that there was no specific impetus behind his decision, and that he had no plans for a new position.… His tenure … has seen many of the orchestra’s most prominent recent developments. Among those are the creation of SFS Media, the orchestra’s acclaimed in-house recording label; the launch of the multimedia series ‘Keeping Score’; an array of invigorated education programs directed at San Francisco’s public schools; the opening of the experimental performance venue Soundbox; and an expanded touring schedule.… There’s still time … for Assink to tackle a few remaining projects—chiefly a long-range financial plan that he hopes to hand off to his successor…. He arrived [in San Francisco] in 1990 as general manager—essentially the No. 2 to then-executive director Peter Pastreich—and left 3½ years later to head the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he had volunteered as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. He returned to San Francisco in 1999.” A search for Assink’s successor is underway.

Posted September 28, 2016

Brent Assink, executive director of the San Francisco Symphony, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Photo by Gabrielle Lurie / San Francisco Chronicle