Michael Barrett to Step Down as Chief Executive and General Director

Katonah, NY ~ January 31, 2012
Press Contact: Cohn Dutcher Associates


KATONAH, NY (January 31, 2012) – After a decade of exemplary leadership, Michael Barrett, Chief Executive and General Director of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, will step down at the close of Caramoor’s 2012 Summer Festival in August. Mr. Barrett, who assumed his current position in 2003, has overseen the expansion of Caramoor’s educational outreach programs as well as the launch of a number of critically acclaimed new series. Mr. Barrett will return to Caramoor in 2013 as a pianist, mentor and conductor.

“After ten fulfilling years at the helm of Caramoor as both Chief Executive and General Director, it is time for me to explore new artistic opportunities,” said Michael Barrett. “As I move ahead, I look forward to assisting the Caramoor Board in a smooth transition for my successor.”

“I am proud that our core classical programs of chamber music, opera, and symphonic music have achieved such extraordinary artistic excellence. I am equally proud of the success of our innovative programming including Sonidos Latinos – now in its 5th year – our new American Roots Music Festival, our significant three-day Jazz Festival, Extreme Chamber music, family programs, and new this summer – Gospel music. With the support of my staff, the Caramoor Board of Trustees, and many faithful donors, we have accomplished much over the last decade, and my association with Caramoor has been a great honor.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Caramoor, I’d like to thank Michael for his dedication and commitment to Caramoor over the past 10 years,” said Caramoor Chairman of the Board, James Attwood. “His contribution has been extraordinary and his innovative leadership has raised the profile of Caramoor tremendously. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his service. We wish him well in his future endeavors and look forward to his return to Caramoor as a guest conductor and performer.”

Chairman Emerita Judy Evnin continued, “Michael and I enjoyed a nine year partnership that was highlighted by his imaginative programming integrating both classical and ethnic music into Caramoor’s Festival, making it a truly international music venue. We will miss his energy and imagination.”

The search for Mr. Barrett’s successor will begin later this year.

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett will begin his tenth season as Chief Executive and General Director of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, where he has programmed and conducted world premieres, American premieres, and Caramoor commissions. Mr. Barrett assumed this position in 2003, built on an established reputation of more than twenty-five years of programming and performing experience in the arts. His responsibilities at Caramoor include the administration and year-round programming of the Caramoor International Music Festival, featuring acclaimed programs known for breaking down barriers between musical genres, reflecting today’s musical currents, and attracting internationally renowned performers. Mr. Barrett remains active with both NYFOS and the Moab Music Festival as Associate Artistic Director and Music Director respectively.

In 1988, he co-founded, with Steven Blier, the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which presents thematic song recitals in New York City and beyond. In 1992, he co-founded the Moab Music Festival (MMF) with his wife, violist Leslie Tomkins. He is also an Artistic Advisor for the Estate of Leonard Bernstein, and from 1994-1997, he was the Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Mr. Barrett began his long association with the renowned conductor and composer as a student in 1982 and continued to serve as an assistant conductor to the Maestro from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Barrett’s guest conducting engagements include: Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France among others. He also has served variously as conductor, producer, and music director of numerous special projects, including Later the Same Evening by John Musto and Mark Campbell, the world premiere of Volpone by Musto/Campbell at Wolf Trap;Hopper’s Wife by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie at the Long Beach Opera, and most recently Lucrezia andBastianello – a double bill of one-act comic operas by William Bolcom and John Musto.

Dedicated to bringing music to children and their families, Mr. Barrett is active in the creation of new educational programs. With Jamie Bernstein, he has created over eight narrated young people’s programs for orchestra, ranging from American composers (Copland and Bernstein) to Latin music, and the European classics. These programs have been performed throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, and Cuba.

Mr. Barrett was born in Guam and raised in California. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, and received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He did post-graduate work at the Hartt School of Music. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter Emma.

Press Contact: Lois Cohn, 917.339.7187, [email protected] or Brittnee Walker, 917.339.7183,[email protected]