- John Santuccio
Executive Director, San Diego Chamber Orchestra
California State University, San Marcos
John Santuccio is relatively new to San Diego, but his lifelong commitment to classical music has already impacted the San Diego Community and California State University, San Marcos. In September 2002, he became the executive director of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra.
Founded in 1984 by conductor Donald Barra, the orchestra provides area audiences with affordable, high quality symphonic repertoire within its large geographic scope of performances throughout San Diego County.
Less than a year after relocating to San Diego from Greensboro, North Carolina, Mr. Santuccio connected with Cal State San Marcos music professor Merryl Goldberg over their shared love of music and goal of restoring arts and music education in area classrooms. Goldberg, who last year formed Center ARTES at the university to further this goal, asked Mr. Santuccio to join the center's executive committee. Currently, they are planning a five-year collaboration between the orchestra and the university.
In March 2004, Mr. Santuccio arranged to have the orchestra perform at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, as part of a Center ARTES workshop for current and future teachers. The workshop was one of four intended to introduce teachers to new ways of teaching the arts in the classroom. At the conclusion of the music workshop, the attendees and community members enjoyed the special performance featuring violin soloists Igor and Vesna Gruppman.
During a long and varied career, he has served as vice president and executive director of the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina and executive director of the Syracuse Symphony in New York, as well as orchestra manager for the New York Philharmonic. He was also president of G. Schirmer Inc., a prominent music publishing company. He received an MBA from Columbia University and is an accomplished pianist himself.
More recently, he finished a nine-year tenure as president of the United Arts Council of Greensboro, a private, nonprofit organization that raises money for community groups. He has also produced 40 classical recordings, including a 1983 Grammy-winning CD that teamed "New Morning for the World" by the Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. composer Joseph Schwantner and Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." It was produced at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where Mr. Santuccio was then the assistant director for administration.
In recognition of his many valuable contributions to the community and higher education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Marcos are proud to confer upon John Santuccio the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.