In October 2021, Matías Tarnopolsky was appointed president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center, Inc., a visionary partnership that brings the greatest performances and most impactful education and community programs to audiences in Philadelphia and beyond. The groundbreaking new organization reimagines the power of the arts to bring joy, create community, and effect change—to uplift all Philadelphians.
Tarnopolsky served as president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association, beginning in August 2018. Described in the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “quiet revolutionary,” he has—in partnership with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra—accelerated change toward a more equitable, inclusive, and engaged organization. By enriching programming with works of BIPOC musicians, composers, and artists; launching the Digital Stage; offering free virtual content; and encouraging a change to the formal dress code for Orchestra musicians, Tarnopolsky dismantles barriers to access to reach broader and more diverse audiences. He is a passionate believer in the arts as a unifying force, helping to form connections, spark conversations, and offer strength and solace.
During Tarnopolsky’s tenure, The Philadelphia Orchestra received the largest gift in its history, launched an innovative free ticket program for the School District of Philadelphia, strengthened history-making partnerships with international collaborators, and in 2019 negotiated an early contract with the musicians of the Orchestra designed to provide a stable and secure financial future. Tarnopolsky has brought a fresh approach to programming, working with Nézet-Séguin to create unique concert experiences and further The Philadelphia Orchestra’s place in the communities it serves locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Philadelphia Business Journal recognized Tarnopolsky and the Orchestra with the 2021 Faces of Philanthropy award. It also named Tarnopolsky to its list of 2021 Most Admired CEOs. He was selected as one of the 100 most powerful people in Philadelphia for City & State Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Power 100 list in December 2021. Under his leadership, The Philadelphia Orchestra was named Gramophone magazine’s 2020 Orchestra of the Year.
Driven by a lifelong passion for and innate knowledge of the arts, Tarnopolsky has deep experience molding the artistic profiles of orchestras and cultural centers, including key leadership roles at the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as executive and artistic director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, the largest multi-disciplinary, multivenue, university-based arts presenter and producer in the United States.
Tarnopolsky received degrees in music and musicology from the University of London’s King’s College. In 2013, he was named one of Musical America’s international “Movers & Shakers: 30 Key Influencers in the Performing Arts” and was selected as Classical Music “MVP” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2015 he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He serves on the boards of New Music USA, the Executive Committee of the Avery Fisher Artist Program, the Advisory Council of the Tianjin Juilliard School, the Pacific Harmony Foundation, and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
Photo by Jeff Fusco