New Jersey Symphony’s Dare steps down amid concerns over past

Posted on: January 14, 2013

In Saturday’s (1/12) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “Richard Dare made a splash last year as an outspoken entrepreneur turned arts administrator and started work on Jan. 2 as the president and chief executive of the New Jersey Symphony, with the promise that his business acumen would bring it new luster. On Friday, nine days later, he resigned, citing a 1996 case in which he was charged with an ‘attempted lewd act upon’ a 15-year-old girl, whom he later married. … Stephen Sichak, the orchestra’s co-chairman, said it knew about the charge when Mr. Dare was hired but that inquiries into the case from ‘friends of the symphony,’ not reporters, began coming in. ‘Concerns about the public perception of this subject matter’ emerged, Mr. Sichak said. ‘The situation has become a distraction and is keeping us from being able to do what we do best,’ making music, so the board accepted Mr. Dare’s resignation. … The development came as a New York Times investigation into Mr. Dare’s background raised questions about aspects of his résumé and business accomplishments. … Mr. Sichak, the co-chairman … said a ‘thorough background check was completed. … We did not assess nor, frankly, base our decision on business results and the accuracy thereof.’ … Mr. Dare joined the nonprofit world in May 2011, when he asked to meet the chairman of the troubled Brooklyn Philharmonic and was hired as chief executive there. He quickly garnered attention, writing commentaries for The Huffington Post and being named a ‘rising star’ by the Web site Musical America.”

Posted January 14, 2013