The Philharmonic Society of Orange County presented Jerry Mandel with the 2021 Golden Baton Award on April 12, 2021, in recognition of his and Irvine Barclay Theatre’s support throughout the 2020-21 season.
As the events of 2020 paused in-person performances and education programs, Jerry and the staff made Irvine Barclay Theatre available to the Philharmonic Society, giving them an artistic home. The Philharmonic Society, in turn, presented the county’s first livestream concert from the Barclay stage, followed by a full virtual line-up of extraordinary artists from across the country. (Read more about these activities.)
Jerry has an impressive career of expanding the presence of the performing arts in Southern California. In addition to his work raising the profile of Irvine Barclay Theatre, he was president of the Orange County Performing Arts Center (now Segerstrom Center for the Arts) for 10 years, including the debut of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. He has championed arts education as a former dean of fine arts at San Diego State University and at positions at Cal State Long Beach and the University of California, Irvine. One of Jerry's passions is playing the saxophone – and you might catch him on occasion playing at one of our local venues.
Upon news of the award, Jerry remarked:
"For over 60 years, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County has brought the greatest classical musicians and orchestras to Orange County. I am honored and humbled to be this year's recipient of the Society's Golden Baton Award. The Barclay and I look forward to assisting the Society in its musical mission for years to come."
The Golden Baton Award was created in 1982 to give special recognition to those whose dedication to the proliferation of the arts in Southern California has been nothing less than extraordinary—and indeed, the recipients of this award constitute a definitive “who’s who” of Southern California arts leaders. Previous recipients of the Golden Baton Award include Henry T. Segerstrom, Donald L. Bren, Elaine M. Redfield, Zubin Mehta, Itzhak Perlman, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, William J. Gillespie, Marjorie Rawlins, and Dr. and Mrs. Edward Shanbrom, to name a few.
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