Notable personalities in the region, February 26, 2022
* Best Video Film & Cultural Center in Hamden recently announced that executive director Hank Hoffman plans to retire in June 2022. Hoffman, 65, succeeded Richard Brown as executive director in 2019 after four years as programming director of BVFCC. He has been instrumental in guiding the organization from its roots as an independent video store Best Video – founded by Hank Paper in 1985 – to its current incarnation as a vibrant non-profit cultural hub. . A 501(c)3 nonprofit cultural organization since November 2015, BVFCC has a collection of 40,000 titles and, despite pandemic-imposed limitations, hosted more than 100 music and film events in 2021.
* The New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Alasdair Neale have hired Joel Thompson as the Symphony Orchestra’s new Composer-in-Residence. His residency began in September 2021 and will run through June 2023. Thompson is a conductor, pianist, and educator, whose works have been performed by such acclaimed ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Master Chorale. , EXIGENCE and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Thompson’s best-known choral work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, premiered in November 2015 at the University of Michigan and won Thompson the 2018 U.S. Prize for Choral Composition. Now a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music , he was also a 2017 Post-Graduate Fellow at Arizona State University’s Ensemble Lab/Projecting All Voices Initiative and a Composition Fellow at the 2017 Aspen Music Festival and School. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear the music by Thompson performed by the NHSO for the first time on March 18 at the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University.