“From the moment Ronald O. Perelman became chairman of Carnegie Hall this year, the classical music world wondered how a billionaire businessman with a reputation for combativeness and fondness for rock drumming would fit at the helm of the buttoned-down board at the nation’s pre-eminent concert hall,” writes Michael Cooper in Friday’s (9/18) New York Times. “But it still stunned the music industry when Mr. Perelman told a group of his fellow trustees on Thursday that he would step down next month, rather than run for re-election.  … Mr. Perelman wrote to his fellow trustees on Wednesday to accuse Carnegie’s long-serving executive and artistic director, Clive Gillinson, of a ‘troubling lack of transparency’ and criticize the board for failing to provide oversight. … One member of Carnegie’s board … who spoke on the condition of anonymity … added that while they would investigate the concerns [Perelman] raised, they did not believe that Carnegie had governance or transparency problems, and denied that the board had been dragging its feet on hiring a lawyer to investigate. … Mr. Perelman’s reputation as a sharp-elbowed businessman with a penchant for taking on battles … preceded his rise to chairman of Carnegie’s board. But he also has a long history of philanthropy, has been a trustee at Carnegie since 1988 and has donated roughly $30 million over the years to the hall. Its main stage is named for him.”

Posted September 18, 2015