Interview Date: June 25, 2014
Conservatory Affiliation: Trustee Emerita
Interviewer: Robin Sutherland
Ava Jean Brumbaum was born in San Francisco on July 11, 1922. She grew up in Berkeley, California, and attended the John Muir School, Willard Junior High School, the University High School in Oakland, and the University of California, Berkeley. Ava Jean was a member of the Kappa Altha Gamma sorority at U.C. Berkeley, following in the steps of her two older sisters. Majoring in pre-med, Ava Jean worked in laboratories, including a summer spent working at the Marine Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Ava Jean's involvement with classical music in the Bay Area began with Philip Boone, who enlisted her sorority to help sell box seats to Symphony performances. A member of the Student Forum, Ava Jean loved attending these performances, and worked diligently to fill seats. At U.C. Berkeley, Ava Jean took a class with Albert Elkus, who later became director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and invited her to join their Board. Chairing the Conservatory's Board for several years, Ava Jean assisted with their move from Sacramento Street to Ortega Street in 1956.
Ava Jean Brumbaum has spent a lifetime supporting and promoting classical music in the Bay Area. At 94 years old, she still attends San Francisco Symphony and Conservatory Board meetings, and actively attends concerts at both.
South Thomason, Maine
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Phil Boone and the Student Forum
The Conservatory’s move to Ortega Street, 1956
The Conservatory’s Board in the 1950s
Friends and colleagues
Conservatory and San Francisco Symphony memories
Love of Music
University & Phil Boone