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Embargoed for 4:00 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, 8/18/16
Elizabeth Sobol appointed President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Elizabeth Sobol c. Dario Cantatore Widely revered for her bright intellect and compelling programming instincts, Sobol brings to SPAC diverse experience and a determination to bring great music and dance in all its guises to SPAC audiences
August 18, 2016 – The Saratoga Performing Arts Center today announces the appointment of Elizabeth Sobol to the position of President and CEO, effective October 1, 2016.  Formerly the President and CEO of Universal Music Classics and Managing Director of IMG Artists in North/South America, Sobol brings to the position decades of artist management and recording industry experience in both the classic arts and mainstream entertainment along with a commitment to breaking down barriers between the two.
“We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Sobol as SPAC’s next President and CEO,” said Susan Phillips Read, Chairman of SPAC’s Board of Directors.  “Elizabeth is a seasoned executive whose artistic and musical interests and experience range from straightforward classical to pop, jazz, world music and dance.  All of this makes her an ideal fit for SPAC, with its eclectic mix of programming.  As SPAC concludes its 50th anniversary season, the Board was struck by Elizabeth’s imagination and vision for expanding SPAC’s future reach and audiences.”
“I am delighted to join the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, a vital artistic institution that is clearly cherished by its enthusiastic and curious audiences,” said Sobol, “and many of the artists I’ve worked with over the years have enjoyed performing on the SPAC stage. I am looking forward to deepening SPAC’s artistic partnerships with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Live Nation to curate SPAC’s signature blend of programming. I have really fallen in love with the culture and ethos that is in abundance in Saratoga Springs and look forward to being a part of and contributing to this community.”
During Sobol’s nearly three-decade tenure at IMG Artists, she nurtured the careers of some of the music world’s most respected artists including violinist Joshua Bell. Bell writes, “I have worked with Elizabeth Sobol in many capacities over the past thirty years and believe she is one of the true gems in our industry. She has a tremendous ear for great music, matched by a heart filled with passion and a commitment to bringing out the best in every artist she works with and project she touches.  I have no doubt she will bring that enthusiasm and commitment to SPAC.”
Before coming to SPAC, Sobol most recently served as President & CEO of Universal Music Classics (UMC) where she successfully ran the American home for the prestigious Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Mercury Classics and ECM imprints, along with the revitalized UMC label, which Sobol oversaw from Universal’s New York headquarters. Sobol’s vision for the label included a commitment to the best that "classics" stands for: music rooted in the classical tradition, while also encompassing a variety of genres including contemporary, jazz, and world and a focus on US-based artists and repertoire that represented diverse genres. UMC’s unparalleled release schedule included artists as diverse and compelling as Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming, Rufus Wainwright, Itzhak Perlman, Hilary Hahn, Evgeny Kissin, Sting, Tori Amos, Keith Jarrett, Anoushka Shankar, Black Violin, Time for Three, Snarky Puppy and the Hot Sardines. Soon after joining UMC, Sobol led the company to the #1 spot on Billboard’s Classical Traditional Label chart in 2014 and 2015. 
As Managing Director of IMG Artists North/South America (IMGA), Sobol was widely considered one of the most well-respected and creative artist managers in the business, overseeing a roster of artists including Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Emerson String Quartet, James Galway, Evgeny Kissin, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and KODO. Sobol created the IMG Artists Dance Division, which grew into the most prestigious roster of dance clients in the industry, representing the Bolshoi Ballet, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Pilobolus, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Lyon Opera Ballet and Miami City Ballet.  Sobol also created and oversaw IMGA’s initiatives and growth in the areas of world music, jazz, contemporary music and music/dance theatricals. 
From 2006-2012, Sobol was programmer and producer of the Festival of the Arts BOCA, which included many of IMGA’s premier clients, as well as cultural figures such as Salman Rushdie, Edward Albee, David Brooks and Doris Kearns Goodwin.  In the recording sphere, Sobol has been Executive Producer of numerous albums, three of which have garnered Grammy nominations.  
Sobol studied at Sarah Lawrence College and the Rotterdam Conservatory. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts.
About SPAC
Since its opening 50 years ago, The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has been recognized as a vital cultural hub of upstate New York, the Hudson Valley, Vermont, the Berkshires, Connecticut and nearby Canada.  Chosen by readers of USA Today in 2015 as the nation’s #1 “Best Outdoor Music Venue,” SPAC’s gorgeous amphitheater and lawn in the heart of Spa State Park make it a favorite destination for artists ranging from the New York City Ballet to Dave Matthews, from the Philadelphia Orchestra to Phish and from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to the Northeast’s hottest jazz festival.  For more information on SPAC and all upcoming events, please visit
Contact: Rebecca Davis
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