Goldman’s decade of accomplishments includes Centennial season celebration, completion of Second Century campaign, Keeping Score multimedia project, 10-year Gustav Mahler recording project and expansion of education programsohn D. Goldman, President of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) since 2001, has announced he will step down in October 2012, completing eleven years of distinguished accomplishments central to raising the artistic profile, expanding education programs, and strengthening the use of media and technology at the 100-year-old arts institution. Sakurako Fisher has been named President-Elect and will be officially elected to the office of President at the Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting on October 27, 2012. Upon the end of his term, John Goldman will remain a member of the SFS Board of Governors.
John D. Goldman’s many accomplishments in 10 years to date as Board President include the launch and completion of the Symphony’s Second Century campaign to support the Orchestra’s artistic, education, and community programs. The funds raised will strengthen the organization’s commitment to artistic and musical excellence, help develop new audiences, fund artist and composer residencies and commissioned works, and help assure the organization’s financial stability. Goldman was at the helm during the planning and the ongoing celebration of the Orchestra’s Centennial season in 2011-12, highlighted by the return of the groundbreaking American Mavericks Festival, the visits of six leading American orchestras for two-concert residencies, and the expansion of education and community programs. Also, during his tenure the Orchestra launched and successfully completed the globally-acclaimed, decade-long Gustav Mahler recording project on SFS Media, which encompassed the recordings of all of the composer’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus and orchestra, a cycle that won seven Grammy Awards.
With Goldman as President, the SFS conceived and created the $25 million Keeping Score project, producing a national television and radio series and websites designed to make classical music more widely accessible for all. Keeping Score, an unprecedented media endeavor in the Orchestra world, encompasses eight hour-long composer documentaries, eight live concert films, a Peabody Award-winning radio series, and a highly-praised educational music website with interactive segments on the composers. The Symphony’s media and technology endeavors significantly expanded during Goldman’s leadership as President, further establishing the SFS as an innovator in reaching audiences far beyond the concert experience at Davies Symphony Hall.
A member of the SFS’s Board of Governors since 1996, John D. Goldman succeeded Nancy Bechtle as President of the San Francisco Symphony in 2001. He was formerly the Chairman of Willis Bay Area, Inc., and the Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Insurance Services. He is the son of the late Richard N. Goldman and the late Rhoda Haas Goldman, influential leaders in the community and international affairs. Active in the community and philanthropic activities, Goldman was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.
Prior to joining Goldman Insurance in 1986, he served in the Office of the Legislative Analyst for the State of California from 1975 to 1978, and as Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the State of California from 1978 to 1981. He served as President of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma Counties , and the Peninsula . Goldman also chaired the Stanford University Athletic Board and was a member of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. He currently serves on the board of I Have A Dream (IHAD) Foundation – East Palo Alto , is a board member of FACE AIDS, and is a trustee of several family foundations.
Sakurako Fisher has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony’s Board of Governors since 1992 and is currently the Vice President of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Development Steering Committee. Active in several arts-related and educational institutions, she serves on the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution as its vice chair and chairs its development committee. She also sits on the U.S. advisory boards for the Union Centrale des Arts et Decoratifs and the Centre Pompidou. She is a Stanford graduate in international relations and has worked for Cargill and Citibank. Sakurako Fisher is an advisory board member of the Department of Humanities and Sciences and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford and also serves as trustee and former vice chair of development of the Thacher School in Ojai , California . Twice chair of the board of ODC/Dance, Fisher has also served on the boards of Stern Grove and the Asian Art Museum Foundation and has recently completed a term as vice chair of the board of The Exploratorium. She has also served on the boards of the American Hospital of Paris, the American Hospital of Paris Foundation, and Alliance Française, and was awarded Le Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the government of France. Fisher Is a passionate music lover who studied koto and flute growing up and continues to immerse herself in music of all kinds, whether exploring the worlds of Beethoven and Mahler or discovering her family's favorite bands. She is married to William Fisher, with whom she has three children.
“It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as President of the San Francisco Symphony,” said Goldman. “To lead this organization through a time of incredible growth and artistic success, working alongside the always-inspiring Michael Tilson Thomas and our exceptional Executive Director, Brent Assink, as well as the many committed donors, board and staff members who contribute their heart, vision, and soul to this organization. I am confident that Sako Fisher is clearly ready, willing, and able to lead the San Francisco Symphony into its next century, and I welcome the opportunity to work with her through this transition year and into the future.”
“John Goldman has been a superb leader of the San Francisco Symphony for the past decade,” said SFS Executive Director Brent Assink. His energy, wisdom, dedication, and good humor have inspired us all. He has encouraged us to take risks, to grow in our service to the community, and to find new ways to connect with diverse audiences. His generosity of spirit is boundless; his impact on the Symphony has been equally broad. On a personal note, I will miss our constant interaction but know that he will remain an active participant in the life of the Symphony for years to come.”
“John has been a close creative partner and friend for more than a decade and his love of music and passion for the orchestra is inspiring,” said SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “His vision and commitment for this Orchestra and for sustaining its future, both on stage and far beyond the walls of Davies Symphony Hall, has guided all of us. While he may be resigning as President, I’m sure his presence and his contributions will be felt and appreciated by all of us for a long time.”
“I’m deeply honored by the support of the San Francisco Symphony and my colleagues on the board, and am excited to serve as the next President of this incredible, vibrant, and forward-thinking institution,” said Sakurako Fisher. “I’ve long admired John’s leadership and vision for not just championing the musicians’ incredible level of artistry but continuing to grow and broaden the reach and impact of their music. I am excited to work with everyone at the Symphony to reach even greater heights.”
The newly-elected members of the Symphony’s Board of Governors are: Derek L. Dean, a partner at Exetor Group and board member, San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Robert G. O’Donnell, former senior vice president at Capital Research & Management Company and Director, Sequoia Hospital Foundation and Summit Public Schools; Trine Sorensen, formerly of Accenture Northern California and a board member at Music at Menlo; David R. Strand, chief executive officer of LifeNexus and board member of American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio, and Southern California Public Radio; Ge Wang, assistant professor, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University and co-founder, chief technology officer, and chief creative officer at Smule; and Sanford I. Weill, chairman of Carnegie Hall and chairman emeritus and chief executive officer of Citigroup.