Christopher Beach, President & Artistic Director
A native of Pittsburgh, Mr. Beach is an internationally-respected arts manager, whose 16-year tenure as director of The Performing Arts Center at New York’s Purchase College was highlighted by a seven fold expansion in programs, a major renovation of the five theatre complex, and a dramatic increase in ticket revenues and fundraising support that made The Performing Arts Center one of the major arts centers in America.
Working in the professional theatre has been a part of Mr. Beach’s life since his early teens when he began as an apprentice with the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at America’s oldest “summer stock” theatre, the Dennis Playhouse, on Cape Cod.
After graduating from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, he began his undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University. A chance encounter with the legendary chair of the art history department, Dr. Phoebe Stanton, turned his enthusiasms toward art history, in which he took his Bachelor of Arts degree.
During his time at the University, he soon found part time work on both sides of the proscenium, as a house manager for Baltimore’s Center Stage, and later as a stage manager for the Baltimore Opera, then still directed by the great Rosa Ponselle. As often happens with people who take what they think is a temporary “detour” into a discipline other than the one in which they were trained, he found himself moving back and forth across the footlights and between opera and theatre. Stage management work at the Santa Fe Opera soon led to work as the Administrative Assistant to John Dexter, Director of Production at the Metropolitan Opera. Five years later Beach left the Met to return to Santa Fe to start The Santa Fe Festival Theatre in 1980, as New Mexico’s first LORT theatre company. Featured in Time Magazine, the theatre presented Michael York, Amy Irving, Kelsey Grammer, Madeleine Kahn and John Randolph among others.
Mr. Beach has never done the same job twice. His next career move took him back to the Metropolitan Opera, this time as Operations Director and with responsibilities that ranged from overseeing the ballet and chorus to managing all of its house management operations. That experience then led to the position of Managing Director of Pepsico SUMMERFARE, an international summer festival presenting contemporary and cutting-edge performances of international opera, theatre and music, including productions of the three great Mozart/Da Ponte operas, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, all directed by Peter Sellars.
In 1989 he was recruited to take over The Performing Arts Center in Purchase. His work at Purchase offered an opportunity to curate a season as a multi-disciplinary presenter where he could explore the impact and the amplification that one art form can have on another and create the connections that give a single performance resonance with other events. A skilled businessman as well as artistic director committed to productive teamwork, Christopher’s expertise was not only in demand in artistic matters, but also as a key member of the college community, for which he discharged many important assignments throughout his career.
Already a familiar – and energetic – participant on the arts scene in San Diego, Christopher and his partner of 30 years, Wesley Fata, live in La Jolla.
Cho-Liang Lin, SummerFest Music Director
Mr. Lin’s recent and upcoming concerts reflect his wide-ranging musical activities. Performing on several continents, he appears as soloist with orchestras such as Dallas Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Bergen Phihamonic in Norway, Stockholm Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra and Singapore Symphony. As an avid chamber musician, he will bring chamber music to Beijing as well as performing at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As an advocate for music or our time, composers such as Joel Hoffman, John Harbison, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paul Schoenfield, Bright Sheng, and Joan Tower all write works for him. Recently, Mr. Lin presented the European and American premieres of Tangos Concertantes, a concerto by Hollywood icon, Lalo Schifrin. Later in 2009, he will give the world premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto as a part of Carnegie Hall’s China Festival.
As Music Director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest since 2001, he has helped develop a festival that focused primarily on chamber music into a multidisciplinary event which now also features dance, jazz and a burgeoning new music commissioning program which includes composers as diverse as Chick Corea, Stewart Copeland, Leon Kirchner, Christopher Rouse, Wayne Shorter, Kaija Saariaho and Gunther Schuller.
Cho-Liang Lin has recorded for Sony Classical, Decca, Ondine, Naxos and BIS. His albums have won such awards as Gramophone’s Record of the Year, as well as two Grammy® Award nominations. On Sony Classical, his discography includes standard violin repertoire such as concerti ranging from Mozart to Stravinsky as well as chamber music of Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel. For Decca, he recorded the Concerto for Violin and Guitar by Aaron Jay Kernis with Sharon Isbin, conductor Hugh Wolff and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. For BIS, he recorded Chen Yi’s concerto Folk Dance Suite. For Ondine, he recorded the concerti of Tan Dun and Christopher Rouse. The Rouse recording was named one of the best classical albums by The New York Times. His most recent releases include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Sejong and Anthony Newman, violin works of Bright Sheng and Gordon Chin on Naxos, and the First Violin Concerto by George Tsontakis on Koch.
Born in Taiwan in 1960, Cho-Liang Lin began his violin lessons when he was 5 years old. At the age of 12, he went to Sydney to continue his musical studies with Robert Pikler. Inspired by an encounter with Itzhak Perlman while in Sydney, he traveled to New York in 1975 to audition for Mr. Perlman’s teacher, the late Dorothy DeLay, at The Juilliard School. He went on to study with Miss DeLay for six years. At the age of nineteen Mr. Lin made his New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival and soon thereafter with the New York Philharmonic, launching his concert career. He was was invited to join the faculty of the Juilliard School 1991, and was recently appointed Professor of Violin at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He plays on the 1715 “Titian” Stradivari.