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May 20, 2009
Cal Performances picks new director


A new era begins at the adventurous presenter Cal Performances at UC Berkeley with the announcement that Matías Tarnopolsky will replace longtime director Robert Cole.

Tarnopolsky, 39, comes to the position from his current post of vice-president of artistic planning at the New York Philharmonic,a job he has held since 2006. Before that Tarnopolsky was senior director of artistic planning at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He replaces Cole, 78, who wraps up his 23rd year as director in August. It will be a tough act to follow. Over his decades-long tenure Cole established Cal Performances as a cutting-edge presenter of arts programming in Northern California.

"I was immediately struck by the vibrancy of the cultural environment at
Berkeley and in the quality and variety of the offerings at Cal Performances," said Tarnopolsky about Cal Performances, in a written statement. "This is a rare phenomenon in the world of the performing arts, and it's what makes Cal Performances a special place."

Tarnopolsky will oversee the artistic vision and executive leadership of Cal Performances, whose focus is ecumenical and ranges from chamber music, to modern dance to a speaker series. The presenter offers roughly 60 to 75 different events each season.

Those performances are given mostly at its home at UC Berkeley's 2,000-seat Zellerbach Hall, as well as the Zellerbach Playhouse, Hertz Hall, Wheeler Auditorium, the Hearst Greek Theatre and Berkeley's First Congregational Church.

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