Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Recinos, President & CEO Tessitura Network

Recently O’Neill School alum Mallory Elver (MAAA’20, BSAM’15) interviewed MAAA alum Andrew Recinos who is the President of the Tessitura Network and oversees Tessitura’s North American Operations. He has held positions at Carnegie Hall as Director of Friends of Carnegie Hall and as Managing Director at Jacobson Consulting Applications (JCA). As a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, he earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Master of Arts in Arts Administration. Recinos currently serves on the Distinguished Alumni Council of the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

  1. When did you know that you wanted to study arts administration? How did you find the MAAA program at IU?

I was a student at Jacobs trying to figure out my life.  I have always liked to have options, and the idea of having both the option of being a professional musician and an arts administrator made a lot of sense to me.

I learned about the MAAA program from a fellow music student who was taking arts admin classes.  Throughout my life I have found that having multiple paths available allows you more options at critical moments.

If I had one piece of advice for any college student right now, it would be KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN.


  1. What were some of the most important lessons you learned through the program?

The primary lesson was understanding an entire profession existed to support the art and culture you see on stage and in galleries.  Nothing happens by magic.  This isn’t Hogwarts.

Like anyone who has the curiosity to ask “how does that really work?” The arts administration profession is eye-opening.

“Hamilton” didn’t become a global sensation simply because it was a ground breaking musical written by an incredibly talented person.  There was a tremendous amount of hard work behind the scenes that made it possible.  The MAAA program revealed what really happens behind the curtain, and showed me that the work on stage wouldn’t be possible without the work backstage.


  1. During your studies and experiences, how did you land a career at Tessitura?

There was a straight line.  I landed an internship at Carnegie Hall right out of the MAAA program thanks to another MAAA student who had gone to Carnegie before me.  I ended up at Carnegie Hall for 8 years in fundraising and information technology.  The technology department worked with an NYC consulting company called JCA.  When I decided to leave NYC, JCA agreed to hire me as a traveling consultant, allowing me to live anywhere.  I moved to Portland Oregon and worked for JCA for 10 years.  My first major customer at JCA was a small startup nonprofit tech company called Tessitura.

After consulting for Tessitura, I became an employee, then the President and as of January 1, the President and CEO- the leader of the company.  It all started with that internship out of the MAAA program.


  1. Can you please describe the various roles you play at the organization?

Ultimately I am responsible for executing on the mission of the company. (You can find our mission on our website or I can send to you).  Essentially, it is to help arts and cultural organizations of all sizes to achieve their goals thru technology, services and community.

I do this by leading a senior management team who manage 220 employees in 5 countries.  I set strategic company direction, manage our $48M budget, and maintain relationships with our Board, Partners and Executives at our 706 organizations around the world.

I set the direction for the company, after getting input from the team, the board, the users and understanding the competition.

Where there are major strategic company challenges, I get involved; where there are disagreements between my executive team, I resolve them; where the budget is in trouble I make the tough decisions to keep it healthy; where there are unacceptably high risks I proactively work to reduce risk.  The Tessitura buck stops with me.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am the public face of the company, serving as a speaker, blogger, and guest panelist in a variety of manifestations around the arts and culture industry and technology business.


  1. What is your vision for the organization and for the arts world as you prepare to embark on your exciting new role at Tessitura?

Tessitura has made its name as “that technology system that everyone in the arts uses”.  And we are proud of that!  The part of our business that is less known is the fact that we are a member-owned nonprofit with a commitment to community learning and knowledge sharing.

Arts and Culture is an industry with a long history of collaborating, and our organization has proven that this goes beyond artistic collaboration.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it starkly obvious that the business of arts and culture doesn’t have the alignment and leadership as an industry that it could.  As a business, arts and culture represents 4.5% of the American economy. Why doesn’t it get the level of support and respect of an industry of this size? I believe it is because at present it is a fractured and siloed industry.  The Airlines (a smaller industry than arts and culture) got $25 Billion. Arts got $75 Million.  We’ve got work to do.

Tessitura is a nonprofit.  It is a member owned community.  It has the trust and respect of the major cultural institutions of the English speaking world, but also represents hundreds of the smaller cultural o
rganizations.  Every major and mid sized city in America has Tessitura at the technology heart of their cultural organizations.

My vision of Tessitura is to go beyond serving the tech needs of cultural organizations to genuinely serving as an industry leader to leverage every aspect of our community and technology to help advance our industry in ways that, in the coming decade, it will need to survive and thrive.


  1. Do you have a favorite SPEA (now O’Neill!) memory?

Three of us from the MAAA program got internships in NYC immediately after IU. We ended up living together in an illegal sublet, sharing a one bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side- two women and me.  We could have been our own sitcom.


  1. What advice do you have for current MAAA students as they progress through the program, search for jobs, and build their networks?

I always have the same advice.  Volunteer for everything.  At the start of my career, I said yes to anything anyone asked me.  You might think helping stuff board packets for the Carnegie Hall board meeting was below the talents of a Master’s student, but it gave me access to the executive team, signaled that I was a team player and even led to me escorting Oscar de la Renta to a board meeting when he was late for it.

Those connections meant that my promotion a year later was a no-brainer, and the executive director immediately endorsed it because she had seen me helping her team.  No amount of book learning would have gotten me that.

Early in your career, or as a student, volunteering and showing up means making connections you wouldn’t otherwise have, learning the backstory of parts of the world you won’t read in a book, and positions you in a positive light to people who might be instrumental in green-lighting your next promotion.

If your home life allows it, if you are a student or early in your career, be the one who agrees to anything and everything- it will pay off.

If your home life doesn’t allow this, consider other ways to get your positive impact on the project or company in front of those who make decisions.

By Eric Ashby
Eric Ashby