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The Oakland Berkley Book March 2013

kat wade meet » Matías tarnopolsky /director, cal performances Calling All Arts » The man who helps bring world-class music, theater, and dance to Berkeley. M Matías Tarnopolsky spent his formative years in London enjoying free classical concerts put on by the BBC, for which East Bay arts lovers are all the better. “I distinctly remember sitting on the main floor of Royal Albert Hall, excitedly waiting for the concert to begin,” says Tarnopolsky, director of Cal Performances. “And I would think, whatever I do in my career, I want to be involved in bringing these kinds of experiences to others.” Tarnopolsky began his career with BBC Radio before moving across the pond to take artistic planning positions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. In 2009, he headed west to run UC Berkeley’s nonprofit Cal Performances, which commissions and produces arts events on campus. 40 theberkeleyoaklandbook.com Cal Performances’ wide range of productions—such as the Robert Wilson–Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach, and Mariinsky Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake— frequently ranks atop Bay Area arts critics’ best-of lists. Asked to pick his favorite, Tarnopolsky winces. “That’s like asking to choose between my children,” he says. Tarnopolsky has stayed true to his idealistic inner teenager. In September 2010, Cal Performances launched the annual Fall Free for All—a day of free performances at Zellerbach Hall, Lower Sproul Plaza, and stages across the UC Berkeley campus. Of course, most of Cal Performances’ shows aren’t free. But Tarnopolsky strives to make ticket prices affordable for all audiences. “We have a mission of the Three A’s: artistic excellence, accessibility, and advocacy,” says Tarnopolsky. “We bring performances of a worldclass standard, make ticket prices available for every pocketbook, and be the best possible advocates for the performing arts.” For more information, go to calperformances.org. —Peter Crooks B_io Age: 43 Lives in: Piedmont Years at Cal Performances: Three First gig: Working for BBC Radio in London


The Oakland Berkley Book March 2013
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