Brooklyn Academy of Music Names David Binder Artistic Director

Brooklyn Academy of Music Names David Binder Artistic DirectorBrooklyn Academy Of Music President Katy Clark today announced the appointment of David Binder as BAM artistic director. He succeeds long-time Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo, who will step down in December 2018.

BAM President Katy Clark said, "Our search for a successor to the legendary Joe Melillo was obviously going to take us far and wide. What was remarkable was that a full international search, conducted over the course of two years, should have led us to our own back yard. Wherever we went, and whoever we spoke with, we heard about David Binder-his unwavering commitment to adventurous artists and ideas, his impressive achievements in both non-profit festivals and Broadway theater, his genre-crossing artistic and intellectual curiosity. David exemplifies the values that we strive to realize every day at BAM, and he has the ambition and collaborative spirit to lead our institution forward. I can't wait to see what we will all do together."

David Binder said, "I am thrilled and deeply honored to join BAM as its artistic director. BAM's impact on Brooklyn, on New York, on the arts across the country and around the world is immeasurable. Under Harvey Lichtenstein and then Joe Melillo, it has-year after year-introduced us to new artists and new forms. It has exposed us to artists who change the way we perceive the world and make us think differently long after we've experienced their work. And BAM's audiences are, of course, among the most adventurous and diverse in the city. I look forward to forging a relationship with those audiences and to begin planning the 2019-20 season."

BAM Chairman Adam E. Max said, "David brings us a wide range of experiences in the performing arts that makes him particularly suited to lead BAM's programming. He is culturally omnivorous, believes in the power of performance, and understands how to build diverse and adventurous audiences. Our search process turned up some remarkable individuals, but David stood out because of the scale and range of his accomplishments. He will help us keep the artist at the center of BAM's programming in new and innovative ways. We could not be more excited."

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo added, "David is not only a wonderful, longtime colleague, but a true artistic adventurer, aligned with BAM's values. It will be exciting to see David's vision flourish at this great institution and I'm thrilled to welcome him."

As artistic director-a new title which signals BAM's intention to unite its curatorial streams- Binder will lead BAM's programming, including live performances, cinema programs, education and humanities initiatives, visual art events, digital projects, and artistic partnerships. In recognition of the breadth of BAM's artistic portfolio, he will work closely with senior programmers Coco Killingsworth (VP of Education and Community engagement) and Gina Duncan (AVP of Cinema) and will guide the institution's curators in additional areas. Binder's artistic purview will extend to new BAM spaces currently under construction-the BAM Karen and BAM Strong-providing the institution with a broader curatorial landscape.

David Binder is a Tony Award-winning producer whose credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, and festivals. He is the Guest Artistic Director of LIFT, the London International Festival of Theatre, which will take place in June and feature artists from around the world including Back to Back, Anu, Taylor Mac, and Duke Riley's Fly by Night.

In New York, Binder produced the High Line Festival, curated by David Bowie. The festival featured performances by Arcade Fire, Laurie Anderson, Meow Meow, and, in his American stand-up comedy debut, Ricky Gervais. He also produced the Dutch New Island Festival on New York's Governors Island, 10 days of site-specific performance, music, theater, and dance from the Netherlands including artists such as Anouk van Dijk, Armin van Buuren, and Ivo van Hove.

On Broadway, Binder produced Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which won four Tony Awards including Best Revival. Last summer, Hedwig wrapped up a US national tour at the Kennedy Center. He is the original producer of Hedwig, having mounted the original production in 1997. Binder produced the record-breaking production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, starring James Franco and Chris O'Dowd, which was the first Broadway show to be filmed by NT Live. His Tony Award-winning revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, and Audra McDonald has been widely recognized for its lasting impact on who comes to Broadway. Other credits include Moisés Kaufman's 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda on Broadway and subsequently in Los Angeles with Center Theatre Group; De La Guarda; and Fuerza Bruta.

At the Sydney Opera House, Binder produced This Is Our Youth with Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin. He has co-produced five shows with The Donmar Warehouse, including Frost/Nixon and Mary Stuart on Broadway, and Lobby Hero, A Voyage Round My Father with Derek Jacobi, and Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor in the West End.

In addition to the Tony Award for Hedwig, Binder has received four Tony nominations, an Emmy nomination, and a Golden Globe nomination. He has been honored by Performance Space 122 and is the recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theatrical Producing.

Binder is originally from Los Angeles, and graduated from UC Berkeley. He has been a teaching fellow at Princeton University and was on the faculty at the Yale School of Drama for six years. He has spoken about festivals, audience development, and creativity at gatherings across Europe and the US. David Binder's TED talk, "The Arts Festival Revolution," has been seen online by more than a half million people and was chosen by The Guardian as one of the best talks about theater on the web.

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