Executive and artistic director leaves Princeton Festival

Photo courtesy of The Princeton Festival

The Princeton Festival announced that Richard Tang Yuk, executive and artistic director and one of the organization’s founders, has decided to leave the festival.

“After 16 wonderful years with the Princeton Festival, I am excited to pass the reins to its next leaders and watch the Festival continue to thrive and move to the next level,” Tang Yuk said in a statement released on Sept. 18. “I will forever cherish the great experiences I enjoyed at the festival, which is so dear to my heart. They would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our Board of Trustees.”

Gregory Jon Geehern, the festival’s associate conductor and assistant to the artistic director, has been appointed acting artistic director. Geehern, a conductor, pianist, singer, and scholar, prepared and led many festival choruses.

“Everyone associated with the Princeton Festival is sorry to see Richard leave,” Benedikt von Schröder, chair of the Board of Trustees, said in the statement.

“He was instrumental in building the Festival into a major presence in the cultural life of our community and our region. We hope to honor him with a special celebration in the near future.

“Part of Richard’s legacy is an outstanding staff, including Gregory Geehern. We are confident that they will maintain the Festival’s high artistic standards and provide the basis for future growth,” he said.

Under Tang Yuk’s leadership, the Princeton Festival grew from two events and four performances in 2004 to 22 performances of eight events plus 20 free lectures and workshops in 2019, according to the statement.

Its offerings, acclaimed by such publications as Opera News and The New York Times, include opera, musicals, Baroque music, jazz, dance, and multi-media.

This past June, when the pandemic made live performance impossible, it launched “Virtually Yours,” a highly successful online season with 50 separate events.

The next event in the Princeton Festival’s 2020 calendar is the finals of its annual piano competition, which this year will be presented online at 6 p.m. Sept. 23. It features performances from competition finalists from around the world. Tickets and information are available at https://theprincetonfestival.secure.force.com/ticket#/.

For information, visit www.princetonfestival.org or call 609-759-1979.