In Tuesday’s (9/20) News-Press (Naples, Florida), Charles Runnells writes, “Kathleen van Bergen’s parents gave her a choice: She could have violin lessons or a pair of Jordache jeans. Van Bergen was 4 at the time, and she really wanted those designer jeans. But she wanted the violin even more. Thirty-one years later, Van Bergen regrets nothing. She still plays violin, and she still loves classical music—in fact, she turned it into a career. Van Bergen is the new head of The Philharmonic Center for the Arts. The classically trained violinist replaced longtime CEO Myra Daniels on Sept. 1 (also Van Bergen’s birthday. Daniels gave her white lilies as a present). After almost three weeks on the job, Van Bergen, 35, said she’s still learning her way around the $127 million Naples facility, which includes a performing arts hall and a fine-art museum. … She’s also planning to find and hire a new museum director and a new music director (museum curator Michael Culver left in August 2010. The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra’s director, Jorge Mester, retires at the end of the 2011-2012 season). … Van Bergen also has an incredible understanding of music and musicians, said John Nuechterlein, CEO of American Composers Forum. She’s a board member for the Minnesota-based national group, which nurtures living composers and their work.”

Posted September 21, 2011