ONE TO ONE

The One to One interviews:
How leaders are managing the crisis

Next on One to One: G&G Arts Law principal Brian Goldstein returns to One to One to discuss the current artist visa quagmire.

Mark Volpe
CEO, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Interview date: May 19, 2021
This week's One to One: Part 2 of our "Exit Interview" with Mark Volpe, who is retiring as CEO of the Boston Symphony after 23 years (view Part 1 here).
In this segment, Volpe talks candidly about the long overdue reckoning of race in American orchestras, both among musicians and administrators. He also discusses how orchestras have evolved into media companies, and the need to monetize their increased visibility – perhaps the way sports teams turned to broadcasting and sponsorship.
He also shares some of his favorite memories, like the time Seiji Ozawa, in an international al fresco performance, managed to outpace a looming thunderstorm seconds before it broke open on a crowd of thousands.
Part 2 of a two-part interview.

Mark Volpe
CEO, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Interview date: May 19, 2021
On the eve of retiring after 23 years at the helm of the mighty Boston Symphony Orchestra, CEO Mark Volpe talked with us about reopening Tanglewood after 18 months of shutdown and about the real reason that, in 1938, legendary BSO Music Director Serge Kouzzevitzky needed to launch a summer music festival.
Volpe, also a former Detroit Symphony CEO, shares his experience of three very different BSO music directors—and how one director's sudden exit led to the discovery of a young Latvian conductor named Andris Nelsons, who went on to become BSO Music Director and Musical America’s Artist of the Year.
Part 1 of a two-part interview.

Francesca Zambello
Artistic Director, Washington National Opera
Artistic and General Director, Glimmerglass Festival
Interview date: May 5, 2021
Francesca Zambello tells One to One about the multiple alternatives the Washington National Opera (WNO) and the Glimmerglass Festival created during the pandemic to stay in touch with their audiences. As she prepares for both to go live again, Zambello outlines highlights from WNO’s coming 2021-22 season, as well as Summer 2021 “Glimmerglass on the Grass” plans, which include a new stage on the company’s expansive lawn, shortened performances of reimagined standard repertoire, and several short films.
All mark the beginnings of what she calls “the new world of opera,” which, this seasoned director maintains, is now upon us.

Teddy Abrams
Music Director, Louisville Orchestra and Britt Music Festival
Interview date: April 21, 2021
Teddy Abrams arrived as music director of the Louisville Orchestra in 2014 at the age of 26. “It was crazy,” he says now. The orchestra, despite the success of its mid-20th -century First Edition recordings, had fallen on hard times. Abrams, a recent Michael Tilson Thomas protégé, had big ideas on how to fix it and no (discernible) doubts.
Recently dubbed “the Louisville Orchestra’s Rock Star” by CBS News, Abrams describes in One to One how he seized the pandemic as an opportunity for change, making the last year one of the orchestra’s most ambitious and most visible. Its success, accomplished through an ingenious fund-raising scheme, streamed concerts, and Abrams’s hugely popular one-to-one Zoomed “Comfort Concerts,” helped to heal a community suffering from the dual devastation of Covid-19 and the civic unrest caused by Breonna Taylor’s death.

 
Mark Pemberton
Director, Association of British Orchestra
Interview date: April 8, 2021
In his One to One interview, Director of the Association of British Orchestras Mark Pemberton talks about how musicians and organizations have been affected by the pandemic, what steps the government has taken to support them, and where they find themselves as the country emerges from lockdown. He also discusses the disastrous impact of the U.K.’s Brexit deal with respect to touring in Europe, what went wrong, and whether there is any light at the end of the tunnel.
An Oxford graduate who started his career in arts management, Mark has headed the Association of British Orchestras since July 2007 and is the current chair of the U.K.’s National Music Council, which exists to promote the interests of the British music sector as a whole.

 
Michael Kaiser
Chairman, Devos Institute of Arts Management
Former President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Interview date: March 24, 2021
One to One checks in with arts consultant Michael Kaiser for an update from our two-part May 2020 conversation about how best to deal with the lockdown. Now that we appear to be arriving on the other side, Kaiser advises arts groups to mount more inventive, unusual programming than ever as they open to live audiences. It’s the only way to compete against the myriad other entertainment options—from cruise lines and theme parks to restaurants and movies—scrambling for visibility in what he predicts will be a glut of post-pandemic entertainment marketing.

 
Brian Prechtl
Percussionist, chair of Players' Committee
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Delegate, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians
Interview date: March 11, 2021
In addition to being a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist, Brian Prechtl is the chairman of the BSO Players Committee and was pivotal to bringing musicians, management, and trustees together in resolving 2019’s labor and financial impasse.
Prechtl explains how, over the last year and throughout the pandemic, BSO leaders met routinely to hammer out a new five-year musicians’ contract, in effect since last fall. He credits arts consultant Michael Kaiser with facilitating the agreement; Prechtl also points to his year-long participation in the League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders program with giving him a new understanding of the administrative challenges of running an orchestra.

 
Stephen Hough
Pianist, composer, author
Faculty member, The Juilliard School
Interview date: February 25, 2021
Stephen Hough—pianist, composer, writer and author—discusses the effect of the pandemic on musicians' bank balances, its impact on international touring, and reflects on how the industry might change as it seeks to re-establish live performance in a post-COVID world.
Named by The Economist as one of "Twenty Living Polymaths," Hough’s career took off after winning first prize at the 1983 Naumburg Competition in New York. An acclaimed concert pianist with a discography of over 60 titles, Hough currently resides in London and is a regular visitor to the U.S. where he is a member of the faculty at The Juilliard School. Last year he was the first musician to return to the concert platform as part London’s Wigmore Hall.

 
Heather Noonan
Vice President, Advocacy
League of American Orchestras
Interview date: February 11, 2021
In her new One to One interview, Heather Noonan, vice president of advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, explains how the latest COVID-19 relief package, including Save Our Stages (SOS) legislation, will impact presenters, venues, and independent contractors in the arts.
Updating her One to One last April, when she unwrapped the CARES Act provisions for us, Noonan here explains the new support options, from a PPP loan to a Shuttered Venue Operator (aka SOS) grant to retroactive tax credits, and more. She also urges us to keep the pressure on our local representatives to support the arts, made easy via now-familiar FaceTime and Zoom. Physical distance is no longer an excuse—"You don’t have to fly to Washington to have a meeting with your member of Congress," she notes.

 
Dame Sarah Connolly
Renowned Mezzo-Soprano
Recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer Award
Interview date: January 28, 2021
In her One to One interview, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, a vocal opponent of the British government’s Brexit proposals, talked about the current plight of U.K. musicians and the campaign to secure visa-free travel arrangements for artists wishing to perform in the European Union. She also discussed the effect of the pandemic on her own life as well as her hopes for the future of live performance.
During a 30-year career, Connolly has become one of the most popular and successful mezzo-sopranos of her generation. Her international career has seen her perform in opera houses and on concert stages around the world from Covent Garden to the Met and Carnegie Hall. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours and was the recipient of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2012 Singer Award.

 
Kim Noltemy
President and CEO
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Interview date: January 14, 2021
Kim Noltemy arrived as president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2018, and neither the orchestra nor the city has been the same since. Even before the pandemic hit, she was making major upgrades to the DSO’s artistic and civic profile. Last June, the orchestra became the first in the U.S. not only to return to its concert hall but to do so before a live, albeit small audience.
Since then, Noltemy has kept the momentum going, involving DSO musicians in a huge range of activities, from delivering groceries to families in need to performing with as many as 50 of their colleagues in Meyerson Symphony Center before an audience of 200. Recently, Guest Conductor Nicholas McGegan tested positive in one of the DSO’s daily COVID-19 screenings, after he had led the orchestra the night before. Noltemy’s response was to shut down performances for two weeks. “We wanted to keep the musicians home,” she explained in an email, “to be sure everyone stays healthy.” The orchestra returns on January 28 under its Music Director Fabio Luisi.

 
Daniel Froschauer
Chairman and First Violin
The Vienna Philharmonic
Interview date: December 14, 2020
The self-governed Vienna Philharmonic is perhaps the most celebrated orchestra in the world. It was also the first full ensemble following the pandemic shutdown to return to its concert hall and tour internationally as a group. Chairman and first violinist Daniel Froschauer describes that initial rehearsal in the Musikverein—Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony under Daniel Barenboim—"It was like a healing!" He also recounts the myriad obstacles surrounding the four-city tour of Japan, including the November 2 terrorist attacks in Vienna the night before the group’s departure.

 
Doug Sheldon
Founder and Managing Partner, Sheldon Artists LLC
Former Artist Manager and Director, Columbia Artists
Interview date: December 10, 2020
Doug Sheldon has a unique perspective on the changes to the classical music business as a result the pandemic, which he shared with One to One. After decades at the now defunct powerhouse of artist management, Columbia Artists, Sheldon has launched his own firm, Sheldon Artists, LLC. Noting “the business is in the process of changing, in a dramatic way,” he described how he sees the future unfolding for artist management, orchestra touring, fees for performers, and salaries for CEOs at large presenting organizations.
Sheldon believes recovery will begin by 2022 but acknowledges it will be slow. His new roster boasts several of his big-name longtime collaborators, but also a number of young emerging artists—investments for the future. “There’s no money in that,” he said. “Yet.”

 

RENT A PHOTO

Search Musical America's archive of photos from 1900-1992.

 

»BROWSE & SEARCH ARCHIVE