Michael Costa has been appointed to the Robert A. Birman Executive Director Chair of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra effective immediately, it was announced today by Board President Paul Sugarman. Mr. Costa currently serves as general manager of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. As executive director, Mr. Costa will be the chief administrative officer of Philharmonia Baroque operating the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Philharmonia Chorale, Philharmonia Baroque Productions, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Period Instrument Trust. Working closely with Music Director Nicholas McGegan and Board President Paul Sugarman, Costa will play a leading role in establishing institutional policies, practice, and direction; represent Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco as well as nationally and internationally; and, together with the Music Director, establish artistic direction for the Ensemble. Costa will supervise the Directors of Artistic Planning, Development, and Marketing and Public Relations. Mr. Costa succeeds veteran orchestra leader Peter Pastreich who retired December 31.
“I’m delighted that Michael Costa has been chosen as our next executive director,” stated Music Director Nicholas McGegan, who has led the ensemble since 1985. “After an extensive search, we found the ideal candidate within our own ranks. Michael has an incredible work ethic, huge respect for our musicians, and a passion for period instrument performance.”
“I want to thank the members of our search committee for a job well done,” said Mr. Sugarman. “We welcome Michael Costa to the Robert A. Birman Executive Director Chair and look forward to his leadership as we enter this next exciting chapter in Philharmonia Baroque’s history. Michael cares passionately about Philharmonia Baroque and, I believe, will lead the Orchestra and Chorale from success to success.”
“For the past two years, I’ve had the enormous pleasure of working alongside my mentor Peter Pastreich in service to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,” stated Michael Costa. “When I graduated from the League’s Essential Seminar, little did I know that I would have the opportunity to work under the director of the course and that I would one day succeed him. I am honored to take on this new leadership role with Philharmonia Baroque and look forward to continuing to work with Nicholas McGegan and our talented musicians, Bruce Lamott and our renowned Chorale; Paul Sugarman and the entire Board of Directors; and my fellow colleagues on our dedicated administrative staff.”
After completing the League of American Orchestra’s Essentials of Orchestra Management Seminar, Michael Costa joined the Philharmonia Baroque’s staff as Acting Director of Finance in January 2010, and was promoted to Director of Finance and Administration in March 2010 and then to General Manager in June 2011. During his tenure, he has taken a leadership role in developing a five-year strategic plan; launching Philharmonia Baroque Productions, the ensemble’s new recording label; expanding the orchestra’s education programs; and upgrading internal data systems. In addition to his other responsibilities, he stepped in to lead the areas of public relations and marketing during a transition period from October through January of the 2010-2011 Season.
Prior to joining Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Michael Costa worked as a classroom teacher on Chicago’s south side; as program coordinator at Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators (RISE), and, most recently, as a Salesforce.com project consultant for non-profit organizations through Exponent Partners. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Brown University, a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Rhode Island College and a Master of Science in Education from Northwestern University. A musician, Michael Costa has studied voice and piano and participated in several amateur choral groups. He currently serves on the board of Clerestory, a Bay Area all-male vocal ensemble.