Carmel Bach Festival Selects Debbie Chinn as New Executive Director

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Has a distinguished record with internationally recognized arts organizations.

Following an extensive national search, the Board of Directors of the Carmel Bach Festival today announced the selection of a new Executive Director: Debbie Chinn, a leader of renowned classical music and theater organizations across the United States, will join the Bach Festival by the end of the first quarter, 2012. [See photo link below.]

“The Board of Directors is delighted to have found an executive of Debbie Chinn's caliber who shares our vision so closely,” said Board President David Nee. “She has a superb record of embracing innovation while preserving the great traditions from which it springs. The addition of Debbie to our management team allows the Festival to continue a tradition of outstanding performance and meaningful service to our community.”

“I could not be happier about the selection of Debbie Chinn as our new Executive Director,” said Paul Goodwin, the Bach Festival's Music Director and Conductor. “We connected immediately, and I'm looking forward to an exciting and fruitful partnership.”

Debbie Chinn comes to the Carmel Bach Festival from a management consulting engagement with the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the country.

Over the past 20 years, Ms. Chinn has held executive and managerial positions at CENTERSTAGE (the State Theater of Maryland), California Shakespeare Theater, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and the San Francisco Symphony. She began her career at the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T), the University of San Francisco, and the Center Theatre Group of the Music Center of Los Angeles.

Ms. Chinn currently serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group (the national organization for American theater), the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and on the Open Society Institute's Leadership Council. She has previously served on the boards of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, the Bay Area Leadership Foundation, East West Players, and California Arts Advocates. She has been a frequent grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group, and Maryland's Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council.

Ms. Chinn said, “The Carmel Bach Festival, with its longstanding reputation of artistic excellence and creativity, is on the verge of a vibrant renaissance under the artistic direction of Maestro Goodwin. I'm deeply inspired by his vision for the future and profoundly impressed by the devoted support from the Festival's ever-growing community. I'm eager to help shape and be an integral part of the Festival's future.”

Debbie Chinn will take over from the Bach Festival's outgoing Executive Director, Camille Kolles, who announced in September, 2011 that she will return to her native Minneapolis-St. Paul to pursue some lifetime goals, including working on book projects and the development of a new non-profit organization.

“The Festival will be in very good hands with Debbie,” said Ms. Kolles. “I treasure what the Festival family and I have accomplished together-the compelling new vision that attracted new Music Director Paul Goodwin, and the building of infrastructure, a professional staff, and creative programming that has transformed the Festival. I know Debbie will build towards even greater successes.”

Debbie Chinn currently lives in Towson, Maryland (near Baltimore). She plans to move to the Carmel area in time to assume the Festival directorship in the Spring.

About the Carmel Bach Festival

Now entering its 75th anniversary season, the Carmel Bach Festival is recognized as a world class festival of music and ideas inspired by the historical and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach in the world. Transcending the traditional boundaries of performance and presentation, the Festival provides fresh contexts of relevance that enable listeners to experience beauty and wonder, sparking the imagination, stimulating conversation, and enriching lives in unpredictable ways.

The Festival has run every summer since 1935 except for a two-year hiatus during World War II. This summer's rich schedule features full orchestral and choral works, individual vocal and chamber ensemble concerts, recitals, master classes, lectures and informal talks, in addition to interactive social and family events.

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Spencer Critchley
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