When the NY Times did a feature on musicians who became directors and managers of their orchestra, they forgot to include Rene Mandel. We're too ochre to compete with the Gray Lady, but we'll correct the oversight nonetheless. The director of the Berkeley Symphony was its principal second violin until a couple years ago and still subs once in a while with the San Francisco Symphony or the New Century Chamber Orchestra, for which he was a founding member in 1992.

On Friday at 8pm in San Francisco, he will play the violin all by himself at the SF Conservatory's Curious Flights series, presenting a piece by Oakland native and up-and-coming composer Dylan Mattingly. The Berkeley Symphony just opened its season last month, presenting its usual mix of pushing the boundaries and respecting the traditions of classical music.