Derek L Dean

San Francisco Symphony Chief Operating Officer Joins the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in March 2018

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO — President Susan Monson, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Music Director Alasdair Neale, today announced the appointment of Derek L. Dean as Executive Director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.  Dean will begin his new post on March 1, 2018.

Dean joins the Sun Valley Summer Symphony from the San Francisco Symphony, where he has served as Chief Operating Officer since June 2015.  During his time at the San Francisco Symphony, Dean spearheaded new audience development initiatives, invested in signature artistic projects, fostered strong collaboration across the organization, and served as Acting Executive Director twice, overseeing all Symphony operations. 

“I am delighted to welcome Derek Dean as the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s next Executive Director,” states Sun Valley Summer Symphony President Susan Monson. “Derek brings a wealth of experience in so many fields that are important to the Symphony.  He will be a tremendous asset.”

As Executive Director, Dean will lead the Symphony in close collaboration with the Board of Directors and Music Director Alasdair Neale.  The largest privately-funded free-admission symphony in America, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony recently celebrated its 33rd season.  Founded in 1985 as the Elkhorn Music Festival by Dr. Carl Eberl, professor emeritus at the College of the City University of New York, and his wife Julianne, the orchestra grew from 22 musicians to 55 at the time of his retirement.  Under the leadership of Maestro Alasdair Neale since 1995, the orchestra has grown to more than 114 players and presents free concerts to over 50,000 people annually.

“I am very excited and honored to join the Sun Valley Summer Symphony as its next Executive Director,” says Dean.  “I have tremendous respect for the organization, its philosophy and values, and the quality of its music-making.  I am particularly happy that I will continue to interact with many musicians from the San Francisco Symphony, who make their home with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony during the annual free music festival.  I look forward to working closely with Susan Monson, Alasdair Neale, the musicians, staff, and Board of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony to continue and build upon the amazing impact this organization has had on its community and the broader world of visitors who enjoy great music in the wonderful setting of Sun Valley, Idaho.  My wife and two sons are also looking forward to moving to the Wood River Valley and building relationships with the local community.” 

“I’m thrilled to welcome Derek Dean as our new Executive Director,” comments Music Director Alasdair Neale. “Derek is an immensely intelligent, articulate and thoughtful man, with a genuine passion for music.  His wide experience in a variety of roles at the highest-level signals that he is uniquely qualified to lead our organization. In the all-important area of strategic thinking he is exceptionally gifted, and I look forward greatly to working with him as we plan the next exciting steps in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s evolution.”

Dean has served as the San Francisco Symphony’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) since June, 2015, overseeing all operations including finance, marketing and communications, artistic planning, education, orchestra personnel, operations, media and touring, community engagement, human resources, and development.  He stepped in twice as acting Executive Director (ED), during previous ED Brent Assink’s six-month sabbatical, and during the search for the current ED, Mark Hanson.  Prior to joining the staff as COO, Dean served on the Symphony’s Board of Governors, chairing the Facilities Committee and participating on the Executive Committee and Marketing Committee.  He first subscribed to the San Francisco Symphony in 1988, has played classical piano since age 4, and counts the San Francisco Symphony’s own Principal Keyboards Robin Sutherland among his favorite piano teachers. 

Dean spent over 20 years with the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, leading the firm’s global semiconductor practice for a decade, and serving as the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s San Francisco Office.  He also spent two years as a Partner with The Exetor Group, coaching senior executives and leading leadership development programs.  He holds a B.A. in American Studies from Carleton College, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University School of Business.  He currently chairs the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), where he has served for 10 years.  He and his wife, Katrina, are parents to two sons. 

December 20, 2017