Napa valley performing arts center lincoln theater

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theatre Announces New Executive Director

Apr. 09, 2014 | Arts Council Napa Valley

Robert Cole is one of the most esteemed executives in the performing arts and venue industry.  He received his M.A. in Music from the University of Southern California School of Music, and continued his studies with Leonard Bernstein and Leon Barzin at the Tanglewood Music Center.  From 1986 – 2009, Mr. Cole was Director of Cal Performances at the University  of California, Berkeley; and General Director of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition from 1990.  During his tenure, Cal Performances became one of the premier U.S. venues, attracting an exceptional caliber and variety of artists, and achieved a nearly ten-fold increase in annual ticket sales. Since 2010, he has been the Director of Artistic Planning and Administration at the Green Music Center at California’s Sonoma State University. Mr. Cole is also a renowned conductor, having worked with leading U.S. and European orchestras, opera and dance companies.  In 1995, Mr. Cole was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.


Robert Cole received his M.A. in Music from the University of Southern California School of Music where he studied with Ingolf Dahl.  He then studied opera with Fritz Sweig and symphonic repertoire with Richard Lert in Los Angeles.  Later, he studied with Leonard Bernstein and Leon Barzin at the Tanglewood Music Center as well as with Hans Swarowsky in Europe.  Mr. Cole served as Associate Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and was the Executive Director and Music Director of the Ballet Society of Los Angeles where he worked with David Lichine and Tanya Riabouchinska.  From 1986 – 2009, he was Director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was also General Director of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, an international festival of early music he founded in June 1990.  Since 2010, he has been Director of Artistic Planning and Administration at the Green Music Center at California’s Sonoma State University

He conducted the Kirov Orchestra with the Perm Ballet at the Mariinsky theatre in St. Petersburg, which was part of the White Nights Festival.  Recently he conducted Giselle for Nina Ananiashvili at the Edinburgh Festival and the US-based Spoleto Festival.  Since 1996, he has conducted The Hard Nut with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sadler’s Wells in London, Bard College Festival and Cal Performances in Berkeley.

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Arts Council Napa Valley 501(c)3 is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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