A second head rolls in New York

As the Met prepared to roll out news of James Levine’s demission, Lincoln Center decided it was a good moment to announce the departure of its president Jed Bernstein, after less than two years in the job.

At a time when the Center is facing a half-billion-dollar renovation of its concert hall, this might appear to be a disaster. But word in the corridors is that Bernstein was not getting on with his chairperson, Katherine Farley, and the board felt it was better if they were all singing off the same sheet.

Bernstein was formerly a commercial producer on Broadway.

Anyone care to apply for the vacancy?

 

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  • One thing they will learn the hard way is that hall renovations are very expensive and have limited impact. Most halls aren’t ideal for all of the orchestral repertoire. If that money had gone towards musicians’ salaries – not only would all the repertoire sound better, they could take that better group to other halls. That’s a lesson too for London – as long as players have adequate backstage facilities – just leave it and improve the ensemble instead (and restore as necessary). If people can get emotionally involved in a space (and it might be with a visiting orchestra) – that’s sort of a cue to leave the hall alone.

  • I know someone who knows Jed Bernstein and was surprised that JB took the Lincoln Center job in the first place. He wasn’t kidding when he told the NYT that what he really loves to do is produce theater.

    And yes, if you can’t get along with your board chairman, you won’t last long in your CEO job.

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