On April 3, Albert K. “Nick” Webster passed away at his home in New York City. He was 82 years old. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Webster was a widely influential orchestra executive who worked to raise artistic and business standards in the classical-music field and identified and nurtured the careers of a generation of forward-thinking orchestra leaders. Webster served an exceptional tenure of nearly half a century on the League of American Orchestras’ Board of Directors, from 1974 to the present, contributing his keen insights and deep experience to assist the League as it assisted orchestras nationwide. Webster was a longtime leader at the New York Philharmonic: as assistant manager from 1962 to 1970 and then as managing director from 1975 to 1990. From 1971 to 1975, he was general manager of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He was a consultant to many musical organizations, a music panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and served on the boards of the American Music Center, American Composers Orchestra, and American Arts Alliance in addition to the League. Webster actively sought out new executive talent for orchestras and helped to build the careers of future leaders of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra, among others. Webster is survived by his wife, Sally, and a daughter and grandchildren.
Caption: Nick Webster at work at the New York Philharmonic, where he served as assistant manager and managing director between the years of 1962 and 1990. Photo by Henry Grossman.