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Santa Barbara Symphony Embarks on Next Phase with Appointment of Kathryn R Martin

Interim CEO appointed and national search anticipated to begin this fall.

(April 30, 2020) Santa Barbara, CA – The Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony Association announces that Kevin Marvin, CEO, today informed the Symphony Board of his intent to resign and return to Colorado for personal and family reasons. During Kevin’s tenure, the Symphony presented three seasons of sublime 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 fire and devastating mudslides. In addition, he 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,” Board President Janet Garufis stated. “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. The Board, artistic leadership, musicians and staff all share a resolve and optimism in this fluid environment.”

Clearly, and especially because of the human and financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, this 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.    

Effective Friday, May 1, the Symphony Board has appointed veteran arts leader Kathryn R. Martin as interim CEO/Executive Director. As a transition strategist and Next Chapter Coach, she has a 30-year career leading arts and culture organizations during times of change and transition. Martin will once again bring her vast arts leadership experience to our community, as she so successfully did for the Santa Barbara Symphony several years ago and most recently, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Kathryn and her husband recently moved to Santa Barbara and is a board member of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.

A national search is anticipated to be launched in the Fall.

The Santa Barbara Symphony looks forward to sharing the upcoming season of thrilling and inspired programming with the community and visitors alike! For more information on the Santa Barbara Symphony, or its programming, visit

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

Now in its 71st year, The Santa Barbara Symphony delivers artistic excellence, outstanding music education stewardship and programming, and community collaboration – all through symphonic music. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Nir Kabaretti as Music & Artistic Director since 2006, The Symphony is one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Through his charismatic leadership, this globally admired conductor and Santa Barbara resident invigorates audiences and musicians alike through his passion, creativity, and vast experience. As the only music education program tied to a professional symphony orchestra in the region, The Symphony serves more than 4,000 students annually throughout Santa Barbara County. While The Symphony continues to evolve, bringing joy, engagement, and connection remain steadfast pillars of its mission and were evident in the organization’s ability to thrive during the pandemic including the historic announcement that board chair Janet Garufis and President & CEO Kathryn R Martin join Nir Kabaretti in making a five-year commitment to serve in their roles. For more information, visit

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