At Da Camera’s annual meeting this week, the organization’s Board of Directors announced the realignment of its management structure. Sarah Rothenberg, who is celebrating her 25th anniversary as artistic director in the 18-19 season, and who has served as artistic and general director since 2011, will continue as the organization’s artistic director. The current interim director of administration, Toni Capra, has been named to the newly created position of executive director effective July 1, 2018.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce Da Camera’s new management team,” said Paul Landen, chairman of the board. “Sarah has defined the high quality and innovative nature of our artistic activities since she joined Da Camera in 1994, and in her last seven years as general director she has overseen the organization’s significant growth, both financially and institutionally. We join Sarah in enthusiastically supporting Toni’s appointment to this vital leadership role as our new executive director.”
“I am thrilled with the direction Da Camera is going in with this new appointment of Toni Capra as executive director,” said Rothenberg. “In the past seven years, the Da Camera Board, staff and I have together worked hard to achieve a level of growth that now demands a full administrative partner to join me in leading the organization. In her short time as director of administration, Toni has proven herself to have the necessary skills and talents to take on this leadership role. This will now allow me to focus on the exciting artistic opportunities that lie ahead as we work together to increase Da Camera’s service to our community.”
During Rothenberg’s tenure in the dual role of artistic and general director, Da Camera has received significant national critical acclaim and reached a number of institutional benchmarks. Since 2011, Da Camera’s achievements include growth in operating budget and endowment by 50 percent, with a striking 92 percent increase in ticket revenue; establishment of the multi-year Leadership and Advancement donor circles; establishment of the Artistic Development Fund, providing seed money for ambitious artistic initiatives with nearly $600,000 raised to date; expansion of Da Camera’s Education and Community Initiatives programs and staff; and receiving a transformative bequest of $1.6 million from subscriber James B. Schooler, the largest gift in the organization’s history. Highlights of recent artistic accomplishments include the Jason Moran Homecoming Residency (2014–17); the creation of Rothenberg’s multidisciplinary music-theater work A Proust Sonata, which premiered in Houston in 2016 and at New York’s Alliance Française Florence Gould Hall this season to rave critical reception; Beethoven for All, Da Camera’s presentation of Beethoven’s complete string quartets performed in free concerts throughout the community; the commissioning and world premieres of major works by Kaija Saariaho, Tobias Picker and Jason Moran; and the release of several recordings, including the notable Rothko Chapel: Feldman, Satie, Cage on the ECM label, which appeared on Best of 2015 lists of Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe, and received international raves in London’s The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and Financial Times.
“It is truly an honor to serve as the executive director of Da Camera and I am grateful to the Board for their confidence,” said Capra. “I have tremendous respect for Sarah and the many accomplishments during her long tenure with the organization. I am committed to working with Sarah, the Board and the entire Da Camera team to bring chamber music and jazz of the highest quality as well as Da Camera’s education and community initiatives to Houston and beyond.”
During her almost 20-year career, Capra has specialized in nonprofit management, strategic planning and board governance and development. She has served in key strategic roles at Houston Grand Opera, WNET New York PBS, Armstrong Community Music School of Austin and the U.S. Tennis Association. In addition, she has consulted on a number of high-profile projects for organizations including Public Television Rocks, The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and Theater District Houston. Since 2015 she has been assisting dynamic nonprofit organizations in maximizing their impact and accomplishing meaningful results through her Houston-based consulting services firm. Toni holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and a master’s degree in nonprofit management. She is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer as well as a Leadership Houston Class XXXVI fellow.
Da Camera’s 30th season concluded on June 1, 2018, with a performance by NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall. On September 29th, the organization will launch its 2018–19 season, as well as its long-awaited return to the Wortham Theater Center, with the legendary pianist Richard Goode in recital, joined by artistic director and pianist Sarah Rothenberg for Schubert’s magnificent Fantasy for piano four hands.