May 19, 2017

The Albany Symphony Welcomes New Leadership in Advance of Water Music New York

Today, the Albany Symphony announced the appointment of Anna Kuwabara to the position of executive director, effective July 3, 2017.

Kuwabara is currently vice president for orchestra operations & facilities at the St Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Prior to the St. Louis Symphony, Kuwabara served as an associate director in Career & Professional Development for the Harvard Business School, executive vice president for the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA), and director of operations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Marisa Eisemann, MD, chair of the Albany Symphony Board of Directors said, “We are delighted to welcome Anna Kuwabara as our new executive director. After a national search led by Jerry Golub and a dedicated search committee, Anna impressed us as the perfect fit for the Albany Symphony. She brings vast orchestral experience, leadership skills, broad knowledge, and, most importantly, a vision for a 21st-century American orchestra that aligns with ours. With her commitment to adventurous programming, artistry, and community engagement, Anna will be a superb leader for the Symphony and an ideal partner for Music Director David Alan Miller. Together, both will ensure that the Albany Symphony will flourish and resonate even more throughout our region.”

Music director, David Alan Miller, who is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the Albany Symphony said, “I am so excited to welcome Anna Kuwabara to the Albany Symphony.  Anna is widely known and deeply respected throughout the orchestra field and far beyond it.  The breadth of her experience and her keen intelligence will benefit our orchestra in countless ways in the years to come.  I can think of no partner I’d rather collaborate with in charting the future of our great institution.  It is a great tribute to our community, board of directors, and musicians that we were able to attract an executive director of Anna’s quality.”

Anna Kuwabara said, “Over the years and from a distance, I have been struck by the creativity and innovation of the Albany Symphony and David Alan Miller, and impressed by a community of patrons who ‘listen adventurously,’ are willing to be curious and open to what is new and different.  I am now honored and eager to join the Albany Symphony board, musicians, staff, and volunteers to build on their great successes in providing the region with excellent performances and innovative education projects.  I particularly look forward to exploring the Albany Symphony’s community partnerships, current and future.

“I’m making a special trip to the Capital Region in early June because I don’t want to miss the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival (May 31 – June 4). Happily, my first official week coincides with Water Music NY (July 2 – 8), which celebrates the bicentennial of the Erie Canal through a barge trip, free concerts and emerging composers working in seven canal communities.  It is another fantastic project and great example of the creativity and risk-taking embedded in the Albany Symphony’s DNA.“

Kuwabara brings to the Albany Symphony over 20 years of general management experience in the social enterprise sector, particularly in performing arts and education.  At the St. Louis Symphony, Kuwabara leads the team responsible for concert production, orchestra and musician relations and the planning and execution of significant projects including recording and international and domestic touring. At the Harvard Business School, Kuwabara focused on MBA career coaching, international student programs, and the social enterprise sector.  At the Longy School of Music, Kuwabara oversaw the school’s administration including strategic planning, finance, and facilities development.

Kuwabara earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business and a BA in English Literature from Yale University. She was a League of American Orchestra’s Management Fellow and an alum of the Boston Center for Community and Justice LeadBoston program.  She served as an elected trustee of the Watertown (MA) Free Public Library and on the board of the St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation.