Just in: Carnegie Hall inquest clears Sir Clive

Just in: Carnegie Hall inquest clears Sir Clive


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2015

The hall has announced the results of a legal inquiry into the breakdown of relations between its former chairman, Ron Perelman, and executive and artistic director Sir Clive Gillinson. Faults on both sides, it concludes. But Sir Clive is forgiven. No surprise there.

Press statement below.


NEW YORK, NY—Carnegie Hall today announced the completion of a comprehensive independent review addressing questions raised at the board level earlier this fall related to the Hall’s management and board governance practices. The review was completed by a team of lawyers from O’Melveny & Myers LLP, led by attorney Howard Heiss.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP reviewed allegations made by Ronald O. Perelman that Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, prevented Mr. Perelman and the Carnegie Hall board from exercising appropriate oversight of Carnegie Hall’s operations while Mr. Perelman served as Board Chairman. In summary, the O’Melveny review concluded that, although there was a serious breakdown in the working relationship between Mr. Gillinson and Mr. Perelman, there is no evidence to support allegations that Mr. Gillinson sought to undermine Mr. Perelman’s or the board’s oversight responsibilities, or that his staff’s actions impeded the proper governance of Carnegie Hall. As a result of these findings, Carnegie Hall’s Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees is satisfied that Mr. Gillinson complied with his professional responsibilities. Mr. Gillinson continues to have their full support.

“We appreciate Mr. Heiss’s efforts and the time and attention dedicated to this review by members of the institution’s board and staff,” said Peter May, a Vice Chair of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees and chair of the board sub-committee overseeing the legal review. “Having completed this work, we are now fully focused on the future, working under the strong leadership of our Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson and our Acting Chairman Mercedes Bass.”

“We are thankful to O’Melveny & Myers for the work and thoughtfulness that went into this important review,” said Mercedes T. Bass, Acting Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees. “Throughout its history, Carnegie Hall has always had an exemplary and dedicated board. Along with Carnegie Hall’s entire extended family, the trustees are committed to looking ahead, building on our institution’s illustrious past and working toward an exciting future under Clive Gillinson’s excellent artistic and executive leadership.”

“We are grateful to resolve these matters and complete this process,” said Sanford I. Weill, President of Carnegie Hall. “Together, we can now place our complete focus on our work advancing Carnegie Hall’s important mission as one of the greatest homes for the best in music and music education in the world.”

Mercedes T. Bass was elected as Acting Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees in October 2015. Also in October 2015, the board approved the creation of a new Governance Committee, charged with sustaining the board’s proactive approach to evaluating policies and practices related to stewardship, and providing guidance and recommendations to the board


  • NYMike says:


  • Ppellay says:

    And quite right, too!

  • Jon H says:

    Perhaps it’s time to now address the same second-rate orchestras that continue to appear there. That hall is wasted on orchestras whose string sections are frankly not good enough to make the magic that space can achieve. Don’t want to say that the base salary of these groups has anything to do with it – but it’s amazing how groups with a slightly better financial situation also tend to sound a little better. It’s also a first-class acoustic wasted on many second-class acts.

    • NYMike says:

      One first-class orchestra not appearing @ CH for some years now is the Royal Concertgebouw. I hope it returns soon!