Meet Our Leadership Team
Executive Committee ~ Executive Director
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.