The Leinsdorf Exit Interview

I’m back in Chicago after a wonderful working vacation at the Grand Teton Music Festival and am in the process of getting my head above the sea of emails, voice messages and the rest. As such, today’s post is a quick link over to a fascinating series of videos from 1969 at the WGBH website titled Tanglewood Tales: The Leinsdorf Exit Interview. It is fun to see the predictions juxtaposed against how things actually changed.

And speaking of exit interviews, that’s a topic I’ve been meaning to examine so stay tuned.

[ilink url=”″ style=”tick”]Tanglewood Tales: The Leinsdorf Exit Interview.[/ilink]

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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0 thoughts on “The Leinsdorf Exit Interview”

  1. Enjoyed all three interviews, with some major prophetic stuff in there. Also thrilled to learn today that my first experience ever of hearing a performance of Beethoven’s 9th was, in fact, that August 1969 final Leinsdorf (televised) concert as MD. Wasn’t aware of that age sixteen. Hell, I didn’t even know who Leinsdorf was, but I certainly recognized the Huntley-Brinkley Report. (That night changed my life forever, BTW.)

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