Heads keep rolling in New York

Heads keep rolling in New York


norman lebrecht

March 02, 2017

Thomas Campbell delivered record footfall as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, up 40 percent. But the deficit kept rising so the board fired him yesterday after seven years.

Jed Bernstein was fired ten months ago as president of the Lincoln Center after promoting a staff member with whom he was having a private relationship.

Matthew Van Besien quit the New York Philharmonic six weeks ago, saying he wanted a more audacious job. Insiders say he couldn’t face the organisation’s coming upheavals and got out while the going was good. Two NY Phil v-ps resigned around the same time.

New York is a tough environment where bottom-line is all and boards act scrupulously in the short-term interest.

One man bucks the trend. Peter Gelb has presided over a collapsing attendance and rising deficit at the Metropolitan Opera. He’s still there after ten and a half years.



  • Alexander says:

    I think he is there only because of his excellent managerial qualities and competency , period

  • Olassus says:

    *the* Kennedy Center


    Lincoln Center

    … no idea why!

    • MWnyc says:

      We just do that with place names sometimes.
      (And they don’t do it at all the same way in Britain.)


  • DrummerMan says:

    Surely you are not equating Jed Bernstein’s “situation” with that of Thomas Campbell? The fact that they both worked in the same city is irrelevant, nothing to do with some sinister New York “plot” as your headline suggests. Why not mention dozens of top NY City arts administrators who are quite content? It’s a big town!

    • John Borstlap says:

      But it is the number of high-rise buildings which inspire wild ambition when working oneself upwards through a career trajectory, and causes desperate vertigo when at the top, resulting in a profound longing to get down again. In psychiatry, it is called ‘career loop syndrome’.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Question: what about Sir Clive Gillinson at Carnegie Hall?

  • herrera says:

    “record footfall” is meaningless because here is no minimum admissions price to get into the Met, there is a suggested 20 dollar ticket price, but one could literally pay 1 penny, so 3 million visitors is a lot of footfall, but also could be just a lot of pennies

    here’s a trivia question: what is the most visited monument in Paris?

    No, not the Eiffel Tower. Not the Louvre either.

    It’s Notre Dame. Because it is free. So Notre Dame also gets the dubious honor of having the most “footfall”

    • Cyril Blair says:

      The “suggested” admission price (which is actually $25) was only in place since February 2016, as a result of a court settlement. Before that the terminology was “recommended” which was confusing to a lot of people, many of whom paid full fare.