Music Academy of the West Vice President Patrick Posey transitions to performing career based in Los Angeles

Santa Barbara, CA — The Music Academy of the West is grateful to Vice President of Artistic Planning and Educational Programs Patrick Posey for six years of leadership. Mr. Posey will be departing from the Academy on August 31 to pursue his professional performance career as a saxophonist. Regularly appearing as a saxophonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Santa Barbara Symphony, Mr. Posey recently appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He plans to make Los Angeles his new home this fall.

“I’ve been a performing artist throughout my career as an administrator, but the number of saxophone engagements has been increasing dramatically. While the Music Academy has been supportive of this, the rigors of traveling to meet performance obligations in other cities makes maintaining a full-time position in Santa Barbara challenging, and having achieved much with the Academy in the last six years I feel it is the right time to reprioritize my life into the cities in which I am regularly performing. I’m proud of the great work we’ve accomplished and truly humbled to have helped steer the course of this unique institution. I remain thankful to my colleagues on the administration, faculty, and board for their unending support as I look to the future.”  

In six years of service, Patrick Posey has helped to transform the Music Academy’s annual Summer Festival in bold moves such as the design of the programmatic activities in partnerships with the New York Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. Under Mr. Posey’s tenure, faculty artists appointed have included Carter Brey, Jeremy Denk, Conor Hanick, Frank Huang, The Takács Quartet, Eugene Izotov, Joseph Pereira, Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, Glenn Dicterow, Jorja Fleezanis, Richard O’Neill, Cynthia Phelps, Nino and Tamara Sanikidze, and Bill Schumann. Conductors and guest artists who were engaged during Mr. Posey’s leadership have included Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stéphane Denève, Emmanuel Pahud, Caroline Shaw, and James Darrah.

Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed said, “We have truly been inspired by Patrick’s dedication to our organization. His programming ideas have transformed the artistic quality we provide for our fellows and our community. We wish him the best of luck as he aims to realize one of his dreams – full commitment to a performing career. We are indebted to him for his partnership in vision and strategy that have helped this institution grow and change. In honor of Patrick’s departure, we will be commissioning a chamber music piece incorporating saxophone for him to return to perform at our Summer Festival in 2019.” 

Patrick Posey has helped to develop a curriculum for the next generation of classically trained musicians and has engaged audiences that support them. He has incorporated the music of today in recent years by bringing composers in residency during the Summer Festival. He has led pre-concert talks with composers and established ties with the artists to create commissions, coach and speak about their works, and perform with Academy fellows. 

In addition to creating experiences for musician fellows, Mr. Posey has actively recruited young administrative professionals to help improve artistic and operational standards for the organization. These young leaders have gone on to positions at the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and The Cleveland Orchestra, among others. 

The Music Academy will immediately begin an international search for a new artistic leader.


About the Music Academy of the West

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted, young, classically trained musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished teaching artists’ roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and Honorary Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Academy has now launched a new partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, highlighted by the following:

  • Musicians from the LSO will participate in each Summer Festival.
  • The London Symphony Orchestra will perform in Santa Barbara in 2019 and 2021.
  • Academy fellows will travel to London to perform in concerts with the LSO.
  • Academy competition winners will perform recitals in London.
  • Michael Tilson Thomas will serve as the Signature Festival Conductor of the partnership.
  • Sir Simon Rattle will oversee the fellows’ experience in London.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually. These include performances by faculty, guest artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2018 Summer School and Festival takes place June 18-August 11 at the Academy’s Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit


Released: Jul 6, 2018



Kate Oberjat

Director of Marketing & Communications

Music Academy of the West



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