About Richard

In a Nutshell

I’m a Los Angeles-based creative producer with over 10 years of experience bringing spectacular live events to life. I create immersive experiences that engage audiences, attract new and returning visitors, and delight everyone involved. And once, I made all my friends compete in a fake Olympic games with fictional countries for my 13th birthday party (I was the judge).

The Whole Story

I’ve long had a passion for storytelling, creative production, and experience design, and have been lucky enough to make a career of it. I’ve specialized in helping major institutions rethink their core product to reach out to younger and more diverse audiences. In 2013, this led me to the San Francisco Symphony, where I launched SoundBox, a revolutionary 360-degree pop-up performance laboratory in an industrial warehouse setting.

In 2018, I completed the prestigious MSx Sloan Fellowship at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, a one-year full-time MS program for experienced leaders. At Stanford, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most innovative leaders in Silicon Valley. I pursued rigorous training in Design Thinking at Stanford’s d.school (the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design), giving me the tools to engage interdisciplinary teams in structured creative work. And I even got to brush up on branding with supermodel Tyra Banks (though she did not share the secret of the smize).

I started out in talent management, working with conductors, singers, and instrumentalists to build their professional narratives and grow their careers. I was a member of Shakira’s management during the amazing run-up to her global mega-hit Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. When I eventually joined the artistic staff at the New York Philharmonic, I got a master class in how to mount ambitious productions, collaborate with world-class artists, and get the best bang for your buck out of ten feet of downstage playing space.

With all the genre-hopping I’ve had in my career, I’ve become fearless about drawing creative inspiration from anywhere. I don’t draw a line between “high” and “low” art—what matters is how you connect a meaningful story with an audience excited to hear it. My diverse professional experiences have given me an unrivaled toolbox to deploy in the service of communicating clearly with audiences.

Let’s Talk

Have a project or an idea you’d like to chat about?
Drop me a line at richard@richardlonsdorf.com
to get the ball rolling.

Richard’s Press and Media Appearances

Richard Lonsdorf, Artistic Administrator and Russell Kelban, Chief Marketing Director present about the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox project during the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC2015) in Orlando, August 2015.

Richard Lonsdorf, MS ’18, Looks to the Future of Live Performance // Stanford Graduate School of Business Profile (April 23, 2018)

San Francisco Symphony is Using an Unspectacular Warehouse to Bring a New Audience to Old Music // Amplify Magazine (May 5, 2017)

Next Generation Hops into Symphony’s SoundBox // San Francisco Chronicle (Aug 31, 2016)

Thinking Outside the SoundBox // San Francisco Classical Voice (Dec 11, 2015)

Peaches Christ To Lead Halloween SF Symphony Show, 'Rocky Horror' Screening // Hoodline (Oct 24, 2015)

Symphony Plays Music From NFL Films, Set to Football Highlight Reels // KQED Bay Area Public Radio (Feb 7, 2016 - clip embedded above)

San Francisco Symphony Performs to NFL Highlights // NBC Bay Area (Feb 3, 2016)

Symphony’s SoundBox Experiments With the Classics // Dwell Magazine (June 22, 2016)

Smart Arts: SF's Classic Cultural Institutions Get Hip to the Next Generation // 7x7 Magazine (Feb 26, 2016)

SF Symphony Vertigo Preview // The Opera Tattler (Feb 9, 2016)

Magic of ‘Harry Potter’ Comes to Symphony Silicon Valley // Bay Area News Group (Oct 25, 2016)