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Conservatory of Music Gala

by Sandra J. Swanson

The Nob Hill Gazette enjoys lime lighting San Francisco’s important institutions and their leadership. This month, it is sponsoring the Conservatory of Music’s euphonious salute to its new leader, David H. Stull.


Thursday, March 27, the new president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (COM), David H. Stull, will be honored at the conservatory’s showcase special event, Transforming the Future: A Vision for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Preparing Artists for the 21st Century; Building Success for Life, a theme that both lyrically encapsulates how COM sees its future and presages the evening’s events.

Stull will present his bold vision for 21st century music to the Bay Area’s leading philanthropists, performing arts patrons, arts and education administrators, and public opinion shapers.

“The culture of creating the future is palpable in San Francisco.”

— David H. Stull

A tubist, Stull comes to San Francisco from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was the dean, as well as professor of brass studies. COM’s new president earned his performance degree at Oberlin and also studied at the Julliard School, where he later oversaw all aspects of the admissions process and served as liaison for the Juilliard Opera Center. He was a director of the Aspen Music Festival, and received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

Stull has performed with the American Brass Quintet, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Bravo Colorado Music Festival, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, and Merkin Hall, in addition to tours throughout the United States and Europe. He has also recorded for commercial radio and television and has been heard on National Public Radio.

Other achievements include founding the Oberlin record label and a Grammy-nominated recording.

“Blessings to all those who treasure our institution, and a warm welcome to Mr. Stull.”

Frederica von Stade, Conservatory Trustee Advisory Board

Hosted by Mr. Stull and Board of Trustees chair Timothy W. Foo and their spouses, the Presidential Celebration honorary committee includes Ute and William Bowes, Willie L. Brown, Jr., Ann and Gordon Getty, and Barbro and Bernard Osher. “David Stull will help us build on the critical growth that occurred during the COM presidency of Colin Murdoch,” says Foo.

Other high notes of the conservatory’s celebration include guest artist tribute performances by bluegrass artist, mandolin virtuoso, and four-time Grammy winner Chris Thile, with the cross-over bluegrass band, Punch Brothers, along with the beloved New Century Chamber Orchestra—acclaimed as the finest string orchestra in the nation. In her sixth season as musical director of the New Century, celebrated violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform, as well as an ensemble of conservatory students and alumni.

Post-performance, guests will be seated for a tented dinner designed by Blueprint Studios and catered by McCalls. We heartily welcome Mr. Stull to our city’s rich cultural milieu.

Sandra J. Swanson writes about fashions in food, culture, travel, gardening, and yachting.

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