March 10, 2023

Karen Bailor

Bellingham Symphony Welcomes Dr. Eileen Brownell as Executive Director

After conducting an extensive nationwide search, the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra has found its new Executive Director—Dr. Eileen Brownell.  

Brownell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan and currently serves as the Executive and Artistic Director for the Tahoe Chamber Music Society (Reno) and Co-Founder of the reNEW Music Ensemble (Reno).

BSO Board President Kathy Gustafson describes Brownell as "a keen listener with careful attention to detail and organization." Gustafson has great confidence in Brownell's ability to lead the BSO forward and continue creating one-of-a-kind experiences for audiences. "She is already well-versed in facilitating unique and unforgettable connections between the repertoire and her community—a valuable attribute as we continue our highly successful Harmony from Discord series."

The 2022-2023 season marked a full return to live performances for the BSO and the long-awaited return of audience members to their seats at the Mount Baker Theatre. As the orchestra looks toward the 2023-2024 season, the energy and excitement is palpable, and Brownell is eager to be part of it.

"It has been incredible visiting Bellingham and taking in the beauty that surrounds us here," says Brownell. "The people have been warm and welcoming beyond description. I am so excited to begin the process of connecting to the community in conversation and serving the mission of the orchestra. It is a profound honor to work with Yaniv Attar, the amazing musicians, staff, and board of the BSO."

To learn more about Eileen Brownell and the BSO, visit or follow the symphony on social media.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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