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BAM Names David Binder To Be Its New Artistic Director

Binder will take the reins in December, when longtime executive producer Joseph V. Melillo steps down.

BROOKLYN: Brooklyn Academy of Music has named David Binder, an experienced live performance and Broadway producer, to be its new artistic director, succeeding longtime executive producer Joseph V. Melillo, who will step down in December.

David Binder.

Binder will lead BAM’s programming, including live performances, cinema programs, education and humanities initiatives visual art events, digital projects, and artistic partnerships. He will also oversee the programming at two spaces currently under construction, the BAM Karen and BAM Strong.

“Our search for a successor to the legendary Joe Melillo was obviously going to take us far and wide,” said BAM president Katy Clark in a statement. “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 nonprofit festivals and Broadway theatre, 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.”

Binder currently serves as the guest artistic director of LIFT, the London International Festival of Theatre, which will take place in June. He produced the High Line Festival, curated by David Bowie, and the Dutch New Island Festival on New York’s Governors Island. His Broadway producing credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Of Mice and Men, A Raisin in the Sun, and 33 Variations, and his Off-Broadway shows include De La Guarda and Fuerza Bruta. He produced This Is Our Youth at the Sydney Opera House, and has co-produced five shows with the Donmar Warehouse. He has been a teaching fellow at Princeton University, and was on faculty at the Yale School of Drama for six years. Binder’s TED Talk about the revolution of arts festival has more than half a million views. He graduated from UC Berkeley.

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to join BAM as its artistic director,” said Binder in a statement. “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.”

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