New York Philharmonic board chair makes his mark

Posted on: October 5, 2015

“Oscar S. Schafer, chairman of the private investment firm Rivulet Capital, is using his checkbook and force of personality” to support the New York Philharmonic, writes Stacy Perman in last Saturday’s (9/28) Barron’s New York. Schafer, the Philharmonic’s board chairman since January, was “new to the Philharmonic’s board in 2007, when he rescued the 50-year-old summer parks series after AOL Time Warner pulled its sponsorship…. ‘To be able to bring free classical music to New York City’ was ‘the best thing we’ve ever done,’ says Schafer.… This month, [Schafer and his wife] bankrolled the parks concerts in perpetuity, among other projects, with a $25 million endowment. But saving the parks concerts is just a prelude. Schafer … is presiding over one of the orchestra’s most tumultuous periods in its history,” including overseeing a $200 million endowment drive, raising $500 million to renovate the former Avery Fisher Hall, and find a music director to replace Alan Gilbert in 2017. “Says the Philharmonic’s president, Matthew VanBesien, ‘This is our moment to take this head-on and put ourselves in a better place.’ … Smart move, says Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive of the League of American Orchestras. The Philharmonic has ‘a tremendous opportunity with the new hall…. There are many areas and places where they can continue to lead.’ ”

Posted October 5, 2015