In this first-person feature on International Arts Manager, Matthew VanBesien, the former president of New York Philharmonic and current president of Michigan’s University Musical Society (UMS) writes about how swapping his seat on stage as musician for life as an arts manager was the best decision he ever made.
My leap to arts administration cannot be neatly explained, though I can say that it was partially driven by my experiences in New Orleans, and a need to have a more purposeful impact on society through the arts. Was I thinking about how orchestras and classical music organisations could operate differently, evolving into cultural and civically-minded ensembles even back then? Yes. Did I have any sense of what I could do about it? Not in the slightest.