Aubrey Bergauer defies trends, and then makes her own. In a time when many arts organizations are finding it more and more difficult to meet rising ticket, subscription, and fundraising goals, Bergauer has dramatically increased earned and contributed revenue at organizations ranging from Seattle Opera to the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival to the California Symphony. Hailed by San Francisco Chronicle as a “dynamic and innovative administrator,” her focus on not just engaging—but retaining—new audiences grew Seattle Opera’s BRAVO! Club to the largest young patrons group in the nation, led the Bumbershoot Festival to achieve an unprecedented 43% increase in revenue, and propelled the California Symphony to double the size of its audience and nearly quadruple its donor base.
A graduate of Rice University with degrees in Music Performance and Business, for the last 15 years Bergauer has used music to make the world around her better, through programs that champion social justice and equality, through marketing and audience development tactics on the forefront of trends and technology, and through proving and sharing what works in the rapidly changing landscape of funding, philanthropy, and consumer behavior.
Bergauer has shared her ideas in speaking engagements across North America, including conferences for Adobe’s Magento, Capacity Interactive, OperaAmerica, Orchestras Canada, and the League of American Orchestras. Praised by Wall Street Journal for leadership which “points the way to a new style of audience outreach,” and which drove the California Symphony to become “the most forward-looking music organization around.” (San Jose Mercury News), Bergauer’s ability to strategically and holistically examine and advance every facet of the organization, instilling and achieving common goals and vision across what are usually siloed marketing, development, and artistic departments is creating a transformational change in the audience, in the office, on the stage, in the community, and is changing the narrative for the classical music industry.
Over and over I’ve said that our classical music world doesn’t feel like the world outside…But one organization that did something to address the problem, bigtime, is the California Symphony, spearheaded by its executive director, Aubrey Bergauer.”
Greg Sandow, Juilliard Professor and arts blogger