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Q & A with Marc Feldman, post-Philharmonic

Marc Feldman

Marc Feldman resigned as executive director of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra on June 9.

Following his resignation, Feldman and the Philharmonic have released official statements, which can be found below.

Former Sacramento Philharmonic Executive Director Jane Hill is returning as interim director July 5. She retired in 2007 after about five years with the Philharmonic, the organization’s financial officer, Marta Quinn, said.

Feldman also worked at the Philharmonic for about five years, starting in 2007 before Hill left.

A native New Yorker, Feldman spent much of the last two decades working as a bassoonist and concert organizer in France, Italy, Portugal, Canada and the United States.

He also served as the executive director of the Orchestre pour la Paix, or Orchestra for Peace, created in Paris in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. That orchestra performed for the Dalai Lama in Petra, Jordan, and all over Jordan and Europe to demonstrate that bridges can be built between people in conflict, he said.

The Sacramento Press spoke with Feldman Wednesday in the wake of his departure.

Q: What were you doing before you came to Sacramento?

A: I was living and working in Europe for the last 25 years as a performing musician (and) a concert organizer, and I was the executive director of the Orchestra for Peace, an orchestra of Arab and Israeli musicians. In 2005, I was selected to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ management program, which brought me back to the United States.

Q: What contributions at the Sacramento Philharmonic are you most proud of?

A: I’m very proud about the relationships we have built in the community, especially with people that have not had a relationship with classical music. The Philharmonic became a bridge-builder, connecting people of different backgrounds through the power of music. I would hope certain bonds in the community have been strengthened by our efforts.

Q: Is there a concert or event that you feel was groundbreaking for Sacramento?

A: You could point to one event if you wanted to – the Songs of Hope, where (Music Director) Michael Morgan invited Israeli and Palestinian, Egyptian and Iranian musicians to perform with the orchestra.

But there was an overall philosophy. Sacramento is the nation’s most diverse city. The world is represented in this town.

I think what was groundbreaking for the Philharmonic is we tried our best, in a small way, to represent that in the music that we played. We had a gospel choir (perform) with the orchestra, a Ukrainian folk instrument with the orchestra and a wonderful multimedia piece written by Dave Brubeck celebrating Ansel Adams.

Q: What would you like to see happen at the Philharmonic in the future?

A: Michael Morgan and the Philharmonic are truly a high-level orchestra. The quality of what is produced on stage would surprise anybody who hasn’t listened to them.

I would hope that the Philharmonic grows its audience and support over the coming years. They deserve it. And I know that Michael Morgan’s creativity and imagination will continue to surprise us.

Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra’s official statement:

Marc Feldman, the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra’s executive director and CEO, has resigned effective June 9, 2011. Marc has made a large contribution to the Sacramento arts community during his four and one-half year tenure as executive director of the Philharmonic.

His creative insights and talents have fostered strong partnerships and alliances with other arts organizations and the community.

We have developed artistic and cultured relationships that have expanded our repertoire and audience and we are richer for it. We thank Marc for his contributions to the Sacramento Philharmonic and we wish him the very best.

Marc Feldman’s official statement:

My five years in Sacramento have been truly wonderful. Our city’s enthusiasm for the Philharmonic has been an inspiration for me.

I would like to thank Maestro Morgan, the great musicians of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, and the dedicated Philharmonic board members for their work in building our community through music. My best wishes for a fantastic future filled with music.


Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @SuzanneHurt. 

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