The first question the New York Phil asked its new chief executivemain
It was not about his tenure at the Houston Symphony, where Matthew Van Besien worked with the lacklustre music director Hans Graf, and a bunch of increasingly disgruntled players. Nor was it about his term at the Melbourne Symphony, where he barely managed to dent the seat before applying for the New York Phil. Or why the MSO is presently without a music director.
No, the first question would have been, how did the prospective chief exec rate Alan Gilbert? One of the best, Van Biesen would have said. Any other answer would have ended the interview.
More details as they come in…