Axelrod Collection Value Determined By Attitude

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra released a 66 page report from their Trustee Review Panel regarding the collection of string instruments purchased from Herbert Axelrod.

Adaptistration People 125The report will be examined in detail next week, in the meantime, here’s the initial paragraph from the report’s conclusion:

“As emphasized earlier, the true value of the instruments for the NJSO lies in the attitude of the Orchestra’s musicians. The psychological boon to the NJSO’s musicians of being able to play a great instrument cannot be underrated. We believe that, between the heightened morale of the musicians and the indisputable beauty of the sound of the Golden Age Collection, this was an investment the Orchestra will always be proud to have made.”

So it appears that the actual dollar amount value of the instruments really doesn’t matter to the committee.  That’s an unusual conclusion since the lending institutions the NJSO borrowed from and the insurance companies are less likely to accept those criteria to determine a dollar value.

Stay tuned, the saga is undoubtedly far from over

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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