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IU Jacobs School of Music alumnus named New York Philharmonic executive director


Jan. 5, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Matthew VanBesien, an alumnus of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and managing director of Australia's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, has been appointed executive director of the New York Philharmonic.

VanBesien, Matthew
Matthew VanBesien
Print-Quality Photo

VanBesien will assume the position of executive director designate of the orchestra this spring and will work with current director Zarin Mehta through the current season. Mehta will retire at the end of the 2011-12 season after 12 years in the philharmonic's chief administrative post.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., VanBesien earned a Bachelor of Music degree in French horn performance from the Jacobs School, where he studied with Myron Bloom.

"Matthew was very talented, and I enjoyed teaching him very much," said Bloom. "He listened in a different way and always had a larger view than just the horn. I felt it then, and it proved to be true. He has a great capacity for big things outside of just playing one instrument. I feel thrilled about his appointment and know he will be very successful."

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world.

About Matthew VanBesien

VanBesien was appointed to the position of managing director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in August 2009 and commenced work in the position in February 2010.

In April 2005, he was appointed executive director and CEO of the Houston Symphony. VanBesien was promoted from the post of General Manager, a role in which he served beginning in 2003. As executive director and CEO, he oversaw the administration, artistic operations, marketing, development and finances for the organization, with an annual budget of approximately $24 million.

In 2001-02, VanBesien completed the League of American Orchestra's Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, a highly selective year-long management training program designed to develop orchestral leadership talent. During the program, he worked at the Aspen Music Festival, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

As a professional musician, he performed as second French hornist in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans from 1992 to 2000.

VanBesien serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and as a board director for Symphony Services International (formerly Symphony Australia).

He currently lives in Melbourne with his wife, Rosanne Jowitt, a geoscientist.