Santa Barbara, CA — Kevin A. Marvin, whose bold administrative reforms have reinvigorated the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, has been named executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. He will succeed David Pratt, who was recently named chief executive of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia. Effective December 1, Mr. Marvin’s appointment caps a national search process that included input from Board members, staff, and Music Director Nir Kabaretti. The Symphony’s Board unanimously approved the appointment on October 26.
“The Symphony is very excited about the result of our robust executive search process. I am convinced that Kevin is the right individual to build on our recent momentum and position the Symphony for even greater success,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Board President Arthur Swalley. “It is remarkable that a city this size would boast so much leadership talent. We are honored to share this connection with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and deeply respect the organization’s family of supporters and its reputation for excellence.”
A native of Colorado, Mr. Marvin enjoyed a lengthy career in banking before being named executive director of the Rocky Mountain Arts Association, a regional nonprofit. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Colorado and earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management at Regis University. He recently completed the League of American Orchestras’ immersive “Essentials of Orchestra Management” professional development seminar. Named executive director of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra in September 2014, Mr. Marvin has instituted new business and programming models, including rebranding, marketing, and enhanced fundraising efforts to bolster the orchestra’s standing in the community. Revenue and attendance totals have since increased.
“I am passionate about the arts and its role in our community, and pride myself on sound financial management, community service, and relationship building. This is a great opportunity for me to further my career objectives while continuing to live in the community I have come to love,” said Mr. Marvin. “The Chamber Orchestra will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m exceedingly proud of all that my wonderful staff and Board colleagues have managed to accomplish in just two years’ time.”
“Kevin has brought much-needed managerial rigor and vision to the Chamber Orchestra, and the results speak for themselves,” said SBCO President Don Lafler. “We recently enjoyed a spectacularly successful season-opening performance, and are coming off a triumphant 2015-16 season. The Santa Barbara Symphony is sure to benefit similarly from his talent and energy.”
Mr. Marvin will join an organization enjoying a resurgence of its own. The Symphony’s season-opening concerts, featuring singers from throughout the region in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, sold out. The organization recently agreed to a new labor accord with its unionized musicians, and its Board has adopted a three-year strategic plan. Through its newly expanded educational programming, the Symphony now serves more than 8,000 area children. Since August the organization has been led by Kathryn R. Martin, one of the nation’s premier interim leadership and transition specialists.
“This is an exciting time for the Santa Barbara Symphony. Subscription sales and philanthropic support are on the rise, and we will soon have a new leader who will leverage and advance the artistic vision of Maestro Kabaretti with fresh energy and new resources,” said Ms. Martin.
The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Consistently lauded for its unique ability to present brilliant concerts, engage the community, and deliver dynamic music education programs, the organization prizes both innovation and artistic excellence, and is widely recognized as one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Its award-winning Music Education Center serves more than 8,000 students throughout Santa Barbara County each year. Charismatic Israeli conductor Nir Kabaretti was appointed music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006. For additional information, visit www.thesymphony.org.
# # #