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 VOL. 23, NO. 11DECEMBER 5, 1997 

92nd Y Director George R. Steel Named Executive Director of the Miller Theatre


George R. Steel, new executive director of Miller Theatre. Record Photo by Eileen Barroso.
George R. Steel, formerly the managing producer at the 92nd Street YW-YMHA and an accomplished composer and conductor, has been named executive director of the Miller Theatre, announced School of the Arts Dean Robert Fitzpatrick. Steel began in his new position on Nov. 1.

  "It is with great pleasure that I welcome George Steel to the Columbia community," Fitzpatrick said. "His experiences at one of New York City's most respected cultural institutions will serve him well as he oversees some of the city's most innovative and engaging programming in the fields of music, theatre, dance and literature."

  As managing producer of the Y's Tisch Center for the Arts, Steel developed programming, including the Today's Composers and Project America series, and administered the annual budget for the Tisch Center and for the Unterberg Poetry Center.

  He wrote the scripts for several concerts, including "What is American Music," hosted by Schuyler Chapin and Bobby Short, and "Africa in America," hosted by Geoffrey Holder. He was also involved in the Y's fundraising and marketing efforts, and is experienced in the logistical elements of production, from negotiating artists' contracts to managing backstage and technical crews.

  "I am thrilled to be here at Columbia," said Steel, "and look forward to drawing from the University's accomplished experts in diverse fields to create unique and engaging programming. I cannot think of another Ivy League university with such a remarkable resource, and will seek ways for Miller Theatre to showcase Columbia to the community."

  Earlier this year, Steel worked with Oscar-winning composer Gabriel Yared to create a suite for chamber orchestra of his music to The English Patient for a concert at Town Hall.

  He also conducted an all-Penderecki concert at the Y, to the praise of the composer, who was present, and collaborated with Charles Harmon, Leonard Bernstein's musical editor, and Sid Ramin, an Academy Award-winning orchestrator, to create a new chamber orchestration of Bernstein's Songfest for the Y.

  A graduate of Yale and an active freelance singer, Steel studied at the American Conservatory of Music and, at the conductor's invitation, attended Leonard Bernstein's conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Institute.

  He also worked with Bernstein to expand the musical materials of his work, "Missa Brevis," and has composed commissioned pieces that were performed in Washington National Cathedral and in St. Thomas Church in New York.