Giuliano Kornberg is the chief revenue and development officer of Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. (Photo by Terence Duffy, mural by David Puck)

On the Rise: Giuliano Kornberg

Meet 12 young professionals who are shaping their industries and the Capital Region

Back Article Jul 9, 2021 By Laurie Lauletta-Boshart

Giuliano Kornberg

Chief revenue and development officer, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera

This story is part of our July 2021 Young Professionals issue. To subscribe, click here.

Giuliano Kornberg immersed himself in the music scene while attending Stanford University as an undergraduate student in music with a concentration in percussion performance, and then as a graduate student in music, science and technology. He was a student ambassador for many different areas of the university’s arts programs. In addition to performing, Kornberg discovered he had a knack for the administrative side of music. 

In 2016, after graduate school, the Minnesota native got a job as an artistic administration intern with the San Francisco Opera while sending out feelers for a permanent position. He heard back from Alice Sauro, executive director of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. The organization sought a development associate to help raise funds and cultivate support. Sauro liked Kornberg’s energy and experience and offered the 23-year-old the role. 

“I was really lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and that someone like Alice was open and receptive to bringing me onboard,” says Kornberg, 28. “I’m very grateful to her, the board and the entire organization for giving me a shot.” Kornberg proved adept at fundraising and networking and quickly moved up the ranks. In December 2020, he was promoted to chief revenue and development officer and now helps create the organization’s strategy for fundraising and revenue efforts.

“In fundraising, I think authenticity is really important and being genuinely passionate about the things you’re speaking about with donors or potential contributors is really important.”

Like most arts organizations, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera was challenged during the pandemic, when all live events were canceled. Kornberg tapped into as many COVID-19 relief funding sources as he could find, in addition to soliciting donations from individuals, companies and foundations. “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have to furlough staff and that, organizationally, we were able to pivot pretty quickly and continue to provide the service of music for the Sacramento communities, which is so supportive of us and the arts in general,” he says. The Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera produced some digital, livestreamed symphonic music and opera concerts and, more recently, held small live pop-up performances with trios, quartets and quintets.

Kornberg still plays music and has a hodgepodge of  instruments in his loft, including a guitar, a keyboard and other percussion instruments. But his favorite instrument is a marimba, which he describes as a big xylophone with a unique sound. He uses music to relax and recharge, and says it gives him a boost of energy and helps him think more clearly.

Kornberg has found that his background in and passion for music have been definite assets in his professional life. “In fundraising, I think authenticity is really important and being genuinely passionate about the things you’re speaking about with donors or potential contributors is really important,” he says. “Being able to work in this role, while talking about something that I love, studied and performed for five years in college, and pretty much my whole life before that, is amazing.”

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Carol Burger (not verified)July 14, 2021 - 11:36am

Very impressive gentleman who is already making a difference in Sacramento. Excellent choice for this list.

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