Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NY Phil faces 'staggering' turnover

Matthew VanBesien, president of the New York Philharmonic, is resigning to take over direction of the University Musical Society, the principal performance presenter at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

VanBesien’s departure follows recent resignations by the philharmonic’s chief fund-raiser and head of artistic planning.

Alan Gilbert, the philharmonic’s current music director, ends his tenure at the end of this season, and his successor, Jaap van Zweden, will not formally assume the music director’s position until the 2018-19 season.

Vacancies in these top positions add to already uncertain prospects for the institution. The orchestra, which has run deficits for 15 years, already was facing several years of performing outside its home venue, David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center, while the space undergoes an extensive, $500 million-plus renovation. Because of complications in the redesign, the projected reopening date has been pushed back to fall 2022.

Management turnover at the philharmonic “is staggering, which threatens to make the planning process more chaotic, and give potential donors pause,” The New York Times’ Michael Cooper reports: