Wednesday, November 11, 2015

End of an Era: Ruth Felt to Retire

Ruth Felt
Photo courtesy of SF Performances

Huge news just now from San Francisco Performances: a press release saying that Ruth Felt, who founded and has led the organization for an astonishing 36 years, will retire in the fall of 2016.

That's an amazing run for anyone in the arts. Starting a presenting organization is hard; keeping it going through thick and thin is harder. Think about the last few years, for example: the recession and its effects; the addition of new venues while Herbst was being renovated; the decline of the subscription model.

Felt has championed young and up-and-coming artists, including the Pavel Haas Quartet, Jonathan Biss, and many others. SFP presents the valuable Alexander Quartet surveys and famed performers such as Marc-Andre Hamelin, Anna Caterina Antonacci, and Anonymous 4. They've presented new music and old, all fearlessly.

The press release has lots of quotations from performers and others, and notes that the organization is in excellent financial condition, and that programming is largely planned for the next two seasons, as has been their practice. A search committee has been formed to find a new director of SFP.

Also, there will be a gala (and fund-raiser) in honor of Ruth Felt on September 30, 2016. I plan to be there.

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