New York Philharmonic names Parr as chairman

Posted on: June 12, 2009

In today’s (6/12) New York Times, Daniel Wakin reports that investment banker Gary W. Parr has been named as the New York Philharmonic’s next chairman, effective in September. “A slim, engaging businessman who dislikes golf, collects historical furnishings and has a beard, Mr. Parr brings an unusual level of financial expertise and prominence to the unpaid job of orchestra chairman. He also brings a worldwide network of business connections to the orchestra’s address book. ‘I think of this as the best job someone would pay to have,’ he said in an interview this week, alluding to the role board members have as financial supporters. Mr. Parr, a deputy chairman of Lazard, joined the board in March. A search for a successor to Mr. Guenther, who became chairman in 1996, began about three years ago, when he indicated he would step down after this season. … Mr. Parr is part of a circle of financial experts who have helped deal with collapsing companies in recent months. He served as an adviser for the sale of Lehman assets to Barclays; the sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan; the restructuring of Fannie Mae; and the sale of Mr. Madoff’s trading business.” Among the challenges Parr is expected to face on his arrival, the article mentions the orchestra’s $3 million deficit this year and the delayed renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, where the orchestra performs.

Posted June 12, 2009

Photo of Gary Parr by Chris Lee