Joining the staff of The Santa Fe Symphony in May 2018 is Brendan O’Brien. A Florida native who has called the high desert home for the past six years, Brendan landed in New Mexico in 2012 after a walkabout through the Southern and Southwest United States.
Captured by the landscape and the people who called it home, Brendan was first introduced to the Land of Enchantment as a ceramicist—working under the mentorship of master potter, Felipé Ortega—living in Northern New Mexico, creating micaceous clay cookpots. From digging the raw clay in the ground to cooking food in a beautifully finished vessel, Brendan has taught classes to students of all levels in the craft of traditional Jicarilla Apache-style pottery from the beginning of the process to the end. During this time, he also produced cookware for various venues around town including Café Pasqual’s Galleria, Santa Fe Clay, and The Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. Beyond his love for clay, Brendan holds a degree from the University of Central Florida in business with a focus on marketing and entrepreneurship, and has also been a journalist, a business owner, a counselor’s aid, and has an active Realtor’s license with Sotheby’s International Realty.
Outside of his professional interests, he is a passionate student of mythology and poetry—inspired by the work of Robert Bly, Martin Shaw, and Martín Prechtel. In his free time, Brendan can be found dabbling in performance improv, hiking, meditation, gardening, and, of course, music. His interest in classical music began when he first heard Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals on the Radio as a kid and was captivated by the piece titled “The Swan.” He looks forward to the opportunity to aid in Santa Fe’s vibrant music community and help make The Symphony the best experience possible for all who seek to experience the depths and joys of live performance.