Santa Barbara Symphony CEO Kevin Marvin today told the Santa Barbara Symphony Association Board of Directors of his intent to resign and return to Colorado for personal and family reasons, the board has announced.

The board has named veteran arts leader Kathryn R. Martin as interim CEO/executive director. Her appointment is effective May 1.

During Marvin’s tenure, the symphony presented three seasons of concerts under the direction of our music and artistic director Maestro Nir Kabaretti performed by world-class Central Coast and Southern Californian orchestra musicians.

Marvin was responsible for bringing the healing power of music to the community with the benefit concert Music for Healing and Community at the Granada Theatre, after the twin disasters of the Thomas Fire and subsequent devastating mudslides. He also organized and presented the symphony’s successful 65th Anniversary Gala fundraiser.

“We are proud to have been led by Kevin and we wish him success in his future endeavors,” said the board’s president Janet Garufis.

“We are Santa Barbara’s Symphony and have been here for our community during many challenges over our more than 65-year history — a testimonial to the healing power of symphonic music and the loyalty of our symphony family and friends,” she said. “The board, artistic leadership, musicians and staff all share a resolve and optimism in this fluid environment.”

Because of the human and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next phase in the symphony’s journey creates an unprecedented opportunity to explore new and innovative ways to deliver its mission in virtual settings, capitalize on the symphony’s reputation for artistic excellence, and experience partnering with schools and youth throughout the region in music education programs.     

As a transition strategist and Next Chapter Coach, interim CEO Martin has a 30-year career leading arts and culture organizations during times of change and transition. She will bring her arts leadership experience to the community, as she successfully did for the Santa Barbara Symphony several years ago and most recently, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Martin is a board member of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. She and her husband recently moved to Santa Barbara.

A national search for a permanent CEO for the symphony is anticipated to begin in the fall.

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