Assink is 61, more than a decade younger than David Gockley on his retirement. (I almost gave this post the title "Have Assink and Gockley been meeting secretly?") Still, he has been at SFS for a long time.
He has also done an excellent job as ED. The orchestra's finances have been stable, and Assink led a campaign for $100 million in fundraising around the centennial that ultimately raised $140 million, quite an astonishing accomplishment. The orchestra has mostly had labor peace, as well, the short strike three years ago being the puzzling exception.
The orchestra has also done the following:
- Established its own recording label
- Recorded the Keeping Score series of educational programs
- Begun the SoundBox series
- Commissioned 41 works
- Expanded its touring schedule
- And plenty more
There's already a search on for a successor. Assink's boots will be very tough to fill.