The New York Philharmonic’s Symphony Society of New York
Annual Meeting (December 7th, 2010, Helen Hull Room, at Avery Fisher Hall New York City
To see the democratic system at work –here at its best one might add – is a refreshing and uplifting experience.
Thus, anybody who donates 75 Dollars (and above) to the New York Philharmonic, becomes eligible to sit in their annual Philharmonic-Symphony Society meeting and to grasp some insight into their yearly financial budget report, notice of and even vote at the Annual meeting.
This seems like a lot of input well worth its 75 Bucks, these days.
While it was a pleasure to hear, that the New York Philharmonic is doing quite well, considering the general economic climate, it was not so much the numbers that were presented by the Assistant Secretary William Thomas’s report, nor even pro forma acknowledging the board’s suggested Governance Committee members and nominating Election of Directors committee report, presented by Chairman Gary W.Parr, that was getting my attention. The highlight was getting to see Zarin Mehta, the charismatic, longtime President and Executive director, in action.
He was appointed ‘Executive director’ in September 2000, and in recognition of his outstanding leadership of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the title was extended to ‘President’ in 2004. Mehta’s extraordinary talents in bringing together Global Sponsorship (as Credit Suisse) and engaging artistic leadership interested in conceptual outreach, (as Maestro Alan Gilbert) created the fundamentals for a potentially diverse and exciting music culture.
Asked about the status of the formerly planned Cuba trip with the players of the orchestra that, due to Visa issues of the sponsors of that event had come to an abrupt halt, Mehta had no good news indicating any change of course to report. Cultural ambassadorship aimed at by Mehta’s enigmatic leadership clearly is still bound by its politically established dimensions.
However he provided some other exciting news, namely that two famed New Yorkers, violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell had joined the Board of Directors, now serving their hometown Philharmonic Orchestra.
And – a particular lovely encore presentation was provided by Lawrence Tarlow, Principal Librarian of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, who gave an entertaining behind the scenes glimpse of his very encompassing day to day tasks and challenges of a job, clearly not sufficiently described by its title.
Altogether a very interesting morning spend entering through the stage entrance at the venue, one usually frequents from the other side.