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René Mandel

René Mandel

Meet Our Leadership Team

René Mandel


Executive Committee ~ Executive Director

Biography

René Mandel was appointed Executive Director of Berkeley Symphony on August 1, 2011. He began his relationship with Berkeley Symphony in 2006 as Artistic Administrator, Orchestra Manager, and Principal Second Violin. In these roles he was instrumental in elevating the overall quality of the orchestra by successfully recruiting high-caliber musicians, a trend that has continued into this season. He also was responsible for hiring soloists, managing concert repertoire, and working with Kent Nagano to develop and implement Berkeley Akademie Ensemble, a new program of Berkeley Symphony dedicated to exploring repertoire for small orchestras. René also served on the Music Director search committee, which discovered and hired Joana Carneiro.

In 2009, René was appointed to the position of Director of Artistic Operations and Executive Producer at Montréal Symphony Orchestra. In this capacity he was responsible for executing the music director’s creative vision for artistic projects and long range planning. Responsible for a team of 10, René managed a $3 million artistic budget, was executive producer for all symphony recording projects, and managed all artist contracts, including guest conductors, soloists, narrators, and recording contracts. Also under his oversight were rehearsal schedules, concert programming, and production of a chamber music series.

In 2008, René was music production consultant and orchestra manager for the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage inaugural performance in Santa Monica with co-directors Kent Nagano and Dustin Hoffman, where he implemented the music director’s artistic concept for this world-premiere theatrical event involving multimedia, actors, and soloists.

René was a founding member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra from 1993-2000. He later served on its board and was co-chair of the music director search which brought Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to the organization.

As a violinist, René was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1983-1994, and an active musician in the Hollywood studio industry from 1985-2009. His solo appearances include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, among others. In addition, he has performed with San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Los Angeles Opera. Born and raised in Los Angeles, where he studied with Manuel Compinsky, René later attended Indiana University under Josef Gingold and completed his studies with Stuart Canin at UC Santa Barbara.

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Aiyana Braun

Aiyana Braun

Meet Our Artistic Team

Aiyana Braun


Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellow

Biography

Aiyana Tedi Braun (b. 1997) is a pianist and composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Aiyana studies under full scholarship as the Edith Evans Braun Fellow. She is currently in the composition studio of Dr. Jennifer Higdon, and during her time at Curtis, she will also study with Dr. Richard Danielpour, and Dr. David Ludwig. She has had several orchestral works performed by orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic at the age of 15, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony and the De Capo Players. She has worked with members of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, as well as others. 

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Lisa Delan

Lisa Delan

Meet Our Artistic Team

Lisa Delan


Guest Artist ~ Soprano

Biography

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Ursula Kwong-Brown

Ursula Kwong-Brown

Meet Our Artistic Team

Ursula Kwong-Brown


Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellow

Biography

Ursula Kwong-Brown (b. 1987) is a composer and media artist from New York City. Her work has been performed in diverse venues including Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge in New York and the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her awards include the Bowdoin Festival Composition Prize, the Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” prize, the Longfellow Chorus “Director’s Prize,” Columbia University’s Sudler Arts Prize, and UC Berkeley’s George Ladd Prix de Paris and Nicola de Lorenzo Prizes. Ursula received her Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2010, graduating with honors in music and biology, and studied abroad at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2012, she started a combined M.A./Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley with support from a Mellon-Berkeley fellowship. After earning a Master of Arts in music composition in 2014, she expanded her focus to include New Media studies and has been experimenting with sound spatialization at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies, and learning about design and interface aesthetics at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Ursula plans to graduate in 2018 with a Ph.D. in New Media & Music.

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Anna Clyne

Anna Clyne

Meet Our Artistic Team

Anna Clyne


Composer ~ Music Alive Composer-in-residence

Biography

London-born Anna Clyne is a Grammy-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Described as a “composer of uncommon gifts and unusual methods” in a New York Times profile and as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, Clyne’s work often includes collaborations with cutting-edge choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians worldwide.

Appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti, Clyne served as a Mead Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2015. She also recently served as Composer-in-Residence for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during the 2015-2016 season and for L’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France from 2014-2016. This season, Clyne was selected by the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA to serve as the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the Berkeley Symphony through the 2018-2019 season. She has been commissioned by such renowned organizations as American Composers Orchestra, BBC Radio 3, BBC Scottish Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and the Southbank Centre, and her work has been championed by such world-renowned conductors as Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, Riccardo Muti, Leonard Slatkin, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 

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Music Alive

The Residency of Anna Clyne is made possible through Music Alive, a residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. This national program is designed to provide orchestras with resources and tools to support their work with composers and new music, capitalizing on the power of composers and their creativity to build new paths for orchestras to heighten their relevancy and deepen their relationships with their communities. Major funding for Music Alive comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Berkeley Symphony Performances

Anna Clyne’s visually stunning Night Ferry and in collaboration with the Fisher Family Art Lab at BAMPFA will display graphic scores inspired by Clyne’s ground-breaking approach to composition through visual art.

Anna Clyne curates a selection of chamber works to be performed by musicians and guest artists of Berkeley Symphony

A special presentation of Anna Clyne’s This Midnight Hour choreographed by ODC/Dance Co-Artistic Director KT Nelson and performed by ODC/Dance.

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Kent Nagano

Kent Nagano

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Kent Nagano


Conductor Laureate

Biography

Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. He has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) since September 2006. In September 2013, he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. In September 2015, he took up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, and since 2006 he has been appointed Honorary Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

 

In July 2018, Kent Nagano conducted Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion with the OSM on the occasion of the Salzburg Festival opening concert. In August 2018 he stood at the rostrum of Vienna Philharmonic, conducting the new production of Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids at the Salzburg Festival.

 

Kent Nagano starts season 2018/19 with an OSM tour into arctic Quebec. In January 2019 he will then go on tour through Spain with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. At the Hamburg State Opera Kent Nagano conducts the premieres of Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust and George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence as well as performances of the entire Ring by Wagner in autumn 2018.

 

Highlights of Kent Nagano’s previous seasons in Hamburg were the premiere of Berlioz‘ Les Troyens, the world premiere of Hosokawa’s Stilles Meer, Messiaen’s Turangalîla with the Hamburg Ballett and John Neumeier, the premieres of Wagner’s Parsifal and Beethoven’s Fidelio, the „Philharmonische Akademie“ – a project in the tradition of musical academies of the 18th/19th century –, as well as the South America Tour with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the premieres of Berg’s Lulu and Strauss’ Frau ohne Schatten and the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s oratorio ARCHE – composed on the occasion of the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie in January 2017. The live recording of this concert will be released on CD by ECM in autumn 2018. Kent Nagano will go on a Europe tour with the OSM in March 2019, with concerts in Berlin, Vienna, Munich, etc.

 

A milestone in Kent Nagano’s collaboration with the (OSM) was the inauguration of the orchestra’s new concert hall La Maison Symphonique in September 2011. In October 2016, he conducted the world premier of José Evangelista’s Accelerando – a commission by the OSM on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Montréal’s metro. In November of the same year he conducted a semi-staged production of the Matthäus-Passion. Further highlights with the orchestra include the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner’s TannhäuserTristan und IsoldeDas Rheingold, Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise, and concert series featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010-11) and Boulez (2011-12).  Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to tours to Japan, South Korea, Europe and South America. Their last tour was in spring 2016 through the US, with stops in Washington, Boston and New York. Their recordings together include Mahler’s Orchestral Songs with Christian Gerhaher, Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 and a complete recording of all the Symphonies by Beethoven of which the album “Ideals of the French Revolution” with Symphony No. 5 won a Juno award. In March 2015 Kent Nagano conducted the North American Premiere of L’Aiglon, a rare opera of Honegger and Ibert. This production was recorded and released by Decca. Danse Macabre followed as second production with Decca, with works by Dukas, Dvo?ák, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Saint-Saens and Ives in October 2016. In June 2018, A quiet place by Leonard Bernstein were released also with Decca as third mutual production.

 

As a much sought after guest conductor, Nagano has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras, just as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Köln, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rom and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 2014-2016 he led his own festival as part of the AUDI Sommerkonzerte, called Vorsprung-Festival. He has an ongoing relationship with Decca and Sony Classical and has also recorded for Analekta, Erato, FARAO Classics, Teldec, Pentatone, Deutsche Grammophon and Harmonia Mundi, winning Grammy awards for his recordings of Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Opéra National de Lyon, Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin.

 

At the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he was General Music Director from 2006 to 2013, Kent Nagano commissioned new operas such as Babylon by Jörg Widmann, Das Gehege by Wolfgang Rihm and Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin. New productions included Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and KhovanshchinaIdomeneoEugene OneginAriadne auf Naxos and Die Schweigsame FrauLes Dialogues des CarmélitesSt François d’Assise, Wozzeck, George Benjamin’s Written on Skin and Der Ring des Nibelungen.  With the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Nagano has toured throughout Europe and in Japan and together they have recorded Bruckner Symphonies No. 4, 7 and 8. In January 2014, Kent Nagano returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper to conduct a revival of Widmann’s Babylon.

 

A very important period in Nagano’s career was his time as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, from 2000-2006. He performed Schönberg’s Moses und Aron with the orchestra (in collaboration with Los Angeles Opera), and took them to the Salzburg Festival to perform both Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules and Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, as well as to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Parsifal and Lohengrin in productions by Nikolaus Lehnhoff.  Recordings with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Harmonia Mundi include repertoire as diverse as Bernstein’s Mass, Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 6, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Wolf Lieder, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Schönberg’s Die Jakobsleiter and Friede auf Erden, as well as Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Schönberg’s Variationen für Orchester Op. 31.  In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, Kent Nagano was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history. To this day he has a close friendship to the orchestra.

 

Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years.  His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris)Les Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera) and at the Salzburg Festival Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zemlinsky’s Der Koenig Kandaules, Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten and the world premiere of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin.  Other world premieres include Bernstein’s A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Eötvös (Three Sisters), and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Niño).

 

Born in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978-2008.  His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint François d’Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor.  Nagano’s success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998) and Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000).

Since May 2018, Kent Nagano is honorary doctorate of San Francisco State University.

 

Kent Nagano’s homepage: www.kentnagano.com.

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Joana Carneiro

Joana Carneiro

Meet Our Artistic Team

Joanna Carneiro


Music Director Emerita

Biography

Acclaimed Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro is Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica Portuguesa and Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon. From 2009 to 2018 she was Music Director of Berkeley Symphony, succeeding Kent Nagano as only the third music director in the 40-year history of the orchestra. She also currently serves as official guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra.

Recent and future guest conducting highlights including engagements with the BBC Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (whom she conducted at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in December 2017), Swedish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the BBC Philharmonic. In Autumn 2018 she will conduct Bernstein’s “It’s a Wonderful Town” with the Royal Danish National Opera and later next season she will conduct a new production of “Carmen” at the Royal Stockholm Opera.

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  • Started playing at age
  • Started playing with Berkeley Symphony in
  • Favorite composers:
  • Favorite works featuring my instrument:
  • Favorite Bay Area activities:n
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