Clive Gillinson: I think the whole point of the arts is that it's about people continuing to grow for every day of their life. That is absolutely vital. One of the most important phrases I ever read was when Einstein was asked about his talents. And he said, "I have no particular talents, just an insatiable curiosity." And it's interesting that he identified that as far more important than his other talents. And I think that's absolutely true. And the arts has to play a part in all of us having an insatiable curiosity wanting to know more, wanting to understand more, wanting to explore all of the time. Yet, the danger of a lot of life, and a lot of the way these institutions work and even things like subscription series and, you know, all of the way that music and the arts are marketed is that you tend to be marketing into boxes. You're actually marketing into people's known likes which means that in a way you're not actually tantalizing them with things where they could explore and grow and- and test themselves. And so I think a lot of what we do is about having a view that everybody should-- it's really important for them to have a fulfilled life everybody should continue to grow throughout their life. And to do that you have to have a spirit of inquiry and a spirit of exploration and a spirit of curiosity. So we feel the arts should and needs to play a central role in that.
Jo Reed: That was the executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, Clive Gillinson. Welcome to Art Works, the program that goes behind the scenes with some of the nation's great artists to explore how Art Works. I'm your host Josephine Reed.
Clive Gillinson came to Carnegie Hall in 2005. As Executive and Artistic Director he is responsible for developing the artistic concepts for the hall which presents almost 200 performances each season on its three stages. That would be enough for most people, but Gillinson is motivated by the idea that the arts should be central to society and available to everyone. To that end, he's created festivals, music scholarships, education programs, and a project in partnership with the Juilliard School of Music and the New York City Public School system, which teams up some of the best young musicians coming out of music colleges with public school kids. It's a notable achievement, yet typical of Gillinson who has also forged alliances with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in various city-wide projects. Clive Gillinson came to Carnegie Hall from the London Symphony Orchestra where he had been first a cellist before moving to the position of Managing Director. Under his leadership, the LSO went from near collapse to an innovative artistic force that reached people of all ages in and out of concert halls. Gillinson was much-appreciated and much-respected; in fact, he 's the only orchestra manager ever to be honored with a Knighthood. So when I spoke with Clive Gillinson in his NYC office, I wanted to know why he chose to make the move to Carnegie Hall.
Clive Gillinson: I'd been offered a number of jobs in other places and I loved the LSO. That was, in a sense, my family. I had been there for a long time. I had been part of the orchestra. And of course my family and everything-- my actual family and everybody were in the U.K. and in London. So I wasn't looking for another job. I-- you know, I didn't want to move. I mean obviously to move to another country when your kids are living in the U.K. I mean these are all huge decisions. But Carnegie Hall is different from any other music organization in the world. And so the interesting thing was, you know, for the first time I felt, you know, here was something I really should do because Carnegie Hall, I think, can make a greater contribution to the future of music and the impact music can have on people's lives than any other institution. And if that's what your life is about which my life had been about, trying to make that contribution you can make a much greater contribution here than anywhere else. So that was why I felt it was irresistible frankly to, you know, I mean I wasn't being offered the job initially but even just to have the conversations, why I thought should have the conversations. But the interesting thing is it was the first time all of my family, all said dad, if you get offered it there's no way you can say no.
Jo Reed: Why is it that Carnegie Hall has that position in the world of art?
Clive Gillinson: Well, firstly, because I think it's the greatest concert hall there is in the world. It's in New York. It's become the iconic destination for every artist everywhere in the world. You know, now that is partly about the history but it's partly about the fact that it's such a great concert hall in New York. So whatever it is, it's created a history that means there's so much momentum and there's so much possibility about what it does. Now, the other dimension that is vital is that it's agnostic. It can work with anybody and everybody. There's nobody who doesn't want to work with Carnegie Hall. If you're running an orchestra you can't work with other orchestras. Every orchestra wants its own identity. If you're running an opera house you can't work with other opera houses because every opera house wants its own identity. I mean you may do some co-productions, but there's nothing you're going to do in a major way as a group of opera houses. I mean the interesting thing about Carnegie Hall because as well it has no resident orchestra is it means it is completely free to have relationships with everybody. And what was interesting, you know, that goes outside music as well as just within music. I mean everybody wants to work with Carnegie Hall within music. And you even get the Grand Ole Opry celebrating its 100th birthday at Carnegie Hall, not in its own building. So it gives you a sense of what it means. But on top of that we don't have a resident orchestra and that, again, means that you've got the space and the ability to plan in a totally free way. You know, you have a blank canvas which gives you all of the scope you want to develop all of the ideas. If you've got a resident orchestra by definition at the core of your music program lies the resident orchestra. You know, that has lots of positives, but equally it also creates limitations. We have no limitations.
Jo Reed: You began your musical career as a cellist. How did you move to the front office from the orchestra pit?
Clive Gillinson: Totally by mistake. I mean interestingly enough I never wanted to be involved in management. It- it had never interested me. I wanted to be a musician. And when I got married my wife and I actually had as our best man or I had as my best man the guy who was running the LSO at the moment, at that time. And I remember us sitting after- after we got married and everything and the four of us were all out to dinner together. And I remember saying to him I cannot imagine why you want to do that job. You know, I'm needless to say still a cellist at that time. And so it just happened by chance. It was one of those things I wasn't seeking it. If it haven't been for the fact that the orchestra got in terrible financial problems and the manager was terminated or he wasn't terminated, the job was terminated. <laughs> But you know, and- and they couldn't find a manager. The orchestra was pretty well bankrupt. And I think people didn't want to come to the job. And it was just at a time as well when the Arts Council was looking at how many London orchestras there were going to be. So there were lots of things that made it really quite challenging. And so they thought they'd just get a player to go in for three months. And, in fact, they asked two players. There was the guy who was the vice chairman of the board. And then there was me and I was finance director at that time which was only an oversight role. I wasn't running the finances. And they asked each of us to go in for three months and whilst they looked. At the end of that six months I mean he did his three months and I did my three months. At the end of that six months they still couldn't find a real manager. And- and then they offered me, you know, would I stay on. And so I said yes, I'll stay on. And after another three months they offered me the job. And I said no because after this period there's no way you know if I'm the right person for the job. And there's no way if I know that I want to actually go into management. So I said keep my job open for a year. I'll do it for a year. And at the end of the year you'll know if I'm the right person and I'll know if I want to do it. That's what happened at the end of the year they did offer me the job, again, and by then I loved it. I mean the early days it was sheer hell. <laughs> And, you know, because I mean the orchestra was in terrible financial problems. It was in danger of going under. I knew nothing about management. And at the same time we just had twins. So, you know, there were a lot of sleepless nights, too. So there was plenty of reasons of why it wasn't attractive at the beginning. <laughs> By the time I had done it for a year and we were really beginning to pull it into shape it was and, you know, during that period we'd had to meet with the Arts Council who were our major funder along with the city of London. And the Arts Council in wanting to reduce the number of orchestras had said to us you have to eliminate your accumulated deficit within three years. And years, years, years later somebody who was in their music department said to me, you realize that when they put that report in they said there is no way the LSO will succeed to do that. It's not possible in that time. They won't succeed and so it will help to solve our London orchestra's problem. In fact, we did it in two years. And the time that they told me about that was when we became the best funded of all of the London orchestras. So we had gone from being the one they thought would disappear to the one they were supporting more than anybody else because they believed-- they really believed in what we were doing. So I mean it was a- it was a long journey.
Jo Reed: Oh my yes.
Clive Gillinson: And a scary one at times.
Jo Reed: You know, you're known for being mindful of and respectful of tradition and at the same time really moving organizations forward. That is a challenging and I would imagine difficult balancing act you do.
Clive Gillinson: For some reason it's not. I mean in as much as great institutions have a phenomenal history. They have roots. And I've always been a believer fundamentally that our job is about evolution. It's not about revolution. You're not trying to kill the past. You're trying to grow out of the past. And the intrinsic nature of your organization and the roots and the culture and the-- you know, all- all the dimension, the values, I mean all of these are built up over history. And if you want to be something else you should go somewhere else. I mean it-- you know if you want to grow an organization you grow it out of what it is. You know, you don't suddenly decide, unless it's a catastrophe. So number one is I think it's the way you have to approach it evolution rather than revolution. The other side is I suppose, you know, the thing I just love is challenge, it's exploration. It's actually coming up with ideas about how you can grow and how you can transform your role in society so that you are making a genuine contribution to the society in which you live. And I think that's somewhere where you involve everybody. It's important that it's something that really becomes part of the culture of what the organization is. And I remember when I started at Carnegie Hall I mean Carnegie Hall was quite risk averse then because it had had a-- I mean it was unbelievably good. It was very successful. So I wasn't-- it wasn't like the LSO where one was coming in to save it. On the contrary I mean it was really successful. But on the other hand, it was quite inward looking in many, many ways. And it tended not to work with other organizations. It tended to, you know, very much a world unto itself and a wonderful world unto itself. And it was quite interesting how the feeling I got from the board I think because of having had difficult times was please be innovative but don't change anything, you know. <laughs> You know, so, you know, it was just one of those it was curious. They were so scared of change. You know, change had got a bad name. You know, so it was an incredible institution. It was very well run. But the other thing that it found interesting was when I started and we started to explore new ideas how everybody was worried about did we have the capacity in terms of our staff and our team to be able to take on more things? Because everybody said we're working so hard all ready. If you now look at who we are and what we are now and what senior staff and the team are actually managing it is so much more than they thought they couldn't manage beyond before. So I think everybody gets excited and everybody gets energized about the fact that you're moving. So I think there's something very energizing about innovation, about, you know, changing your role, developing your role, growing and in really exciting ways. And- and I think the biggest piece about the direction we've moved in is about becoming a really outward looking organization rather than inward. And- and a lot of great institutions do get stuck, you know, because they get stuck on thinking what's best for the institution. My view is that's never the right question. And I remember when I started, you know, often people would say what's best for Carnegie Hall? And I always said it's not the right question. The only question we should ask is what's- what's best for the impact we can have on people's lives through music. If we answer that, then we'll know what's best for Carnegie Hall. And so it's the whole thing of getting people to look at our role in society is what's driven the change. But it's also the fact that uh.., you know, when I came and, you know, we started developing these ideas for big festivals we wanted a whole cross cultural context. It wasn't just about all the best of music. But really creating a cross-cultural context for it. And- and everybody said New- New York organizations don't work together. So I went to see MOMA and Guggenheim and all of these places and they all said, wonderful we'd love to work with you. So it was just this assumption about the fact that everybody operates institutionally. But the minute you actually start having conversations about what could we all do together? How can we all make the lives of New Yorkers and the people that are our community better everybody loves to have that conversation. So you also have sometimes to deal with perceptions that people assume are correct but actually aren't at all.
Jo Reed: In many ways you've taken Carnegie Hall out of Carnegie Hall and brought it into New York City in a more profound way. In different venues, making partnerships with different arts organizations, through education, into the public schools.
Clive Gillinson: We have. I mean and it's a we, it's not me. And it's absolutely true. I mean when you look at the things we've done, the big festivals. We work with a lot of the greatest institutions in the city to create experiences for all New Yorkers. The Academy which is our fellowship program for the best postgraduate young musicians in America which is half about extraordinary performance but the other half is about educating the great musicians of the future to be people who put something back into society and really give back as well. So, you know, those are- those were the first two projects we did. But when you look at now creating the National Youth Orchestra, you look at the fact that we now have 66 alumni of the academy who are now traveling the world, we're helping to develop projects around the world. And they've been to Mexico and India and South Africa and Germany and Spain and so on. So we're having conversations in a sense we get into the conversation about not only what can Carnegie Hall do for music, but what can we all. If we work together what can we do that is greater than the sum of the parts. That means we're all making a contribution to the future of music. And we're not thinking institutionally. We're thinking about people's lives. And that's what changes it all.
Jo Reed: I want to backtrack a little bit because you touched a number of the recent initiatives and I really do want to talk about them in a little more depth and let's begin with The Academy. And that's a partnership between the Weill Music Institute which is part of Carnegie Hall, under- under the Carnegie Hall umbrella, Juilliard and the New York City School system. Describe what it is that The Academy does?
Clive Gillinson: Okay. let me take it even back a tiny bit as to why we thought we needed to create it.
Jo Reed: Okay. Please.
Clive Gillinson: Which was when I arrived somebody gave me the figure which I think was correct that there are 15,000 graduates from music colleges in America every year and 150 jobs in orchestras. So that was one piece. And another piece was the lack of music in the schools. Another piece was if you're going to look at careers in music for students it's not really just about going into orchestras. I mean people are going to have to be much more creative, much more entrepreneurial. You develop much more portfolio careers. I mean that was my whole view of, you know, looking at the direction. And last piece was that standards are incredibly high in America. I mean there's nowhere that the standards of musicians coming out of music colleges is higher. So you have this phenomenal resource with people almost seeing it as a problem rather than a possibility. And so I came up with this idea of The Academy and that is to really have a two-year fellowship where you train the very best postgraduate musicians in the country. Not only do they do phenomenal concerts as various ensembles and you bring in the best conductors and everything else. But you also then train them in education and community engagement. So I went to see Joseph Polisi. I mean I'd heard great things about him. I didn't really know him. But I thought if we could get the greatest performance institution and the greatest music education institution together
Jo Reed: Which is Juilliard.
Clive Gillinson: …which is Juilliard it would be even stronger to develop this together. And the whole point of that was we could have done it on our own but the key to a program like that is you've got to attract the very best people in the country otherwise there's-- you know, there isn't the point doing it. And so Joseph loved the idea. We both agreed we would do it. I went to see Joel Klein was then the chancellor for education. He loved it and said I'm in, you know, I'll do it. So that's why it's got this endless name of The Academy of Program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute in Association with the New York City Department of Education. If you can say that in one breath you're doing well.
Jo Reed: Never mind putting it on a business card.
Clive Gillinson: Yeah. So that was how that came about. It's, you know, and what we're trying to do is create a group of musicians for the future who's lives will be about performing at the highest possible level but just as much their lives will be about putting something back into society, you know, in lots of ways. I mean The Academy they do a lot of work in the New York City public school system. But now where we're working with the alumni and setting up residencies around the world for them so they can transfer skills in lots of other places as well. You know, there's huge demand. What is wonderful is with the skill set and the sort of people they are, they formed themselves into a group called The Declassified. And now we're going to be working with them as an ensemble. So I mean what is lovely is to see all of those people who've developed the skill set actually feeling we want to work as a community to change the world together. So that's really lovely thing to see coming out of it.
Jo Reed: I want very much to talk about the international festivals that began in 2007 with Berlin in Lights. What was the thinking behind that?
Clive Gillinson: Well, in a way that was slightly about using an opportunity because it was an idea I'd talked about before I came in because from the time I was appointed to the time I started was over a year because I wanted to complete what I felt I needed to do at the LSO before I left. Two of my kids, my twins were leaving university. So I wasn't going to leave before they'd completed university. So there were two main reasons why Carnegie Hall very kindly allowed me to have a year before I started from the time of the appointment. And in that time not The Academy but the festivals was something I knew I wanted to do partly to create some really big picture concepts and partly to try and create journeys of exploration for audiences across the whole plateau of culture, you know, all dimensions of culture. I just thought it's really important I mean the whole point of the arts is people grow and explore. It's not about keeping a- a narrow band where you- you go to the things you know and love and you don't explore outside. So it was a concept and, in fact, even before I came we'd agreed that was the direction we were going to go in. And we agreed that Berlin because we were having all ready planned in the books was a significant residency by the Berlin philharmonic. So all of us thought in practical terms with the short timeline Berlin was the place to start because it gave us at least part of the materials to put a festival together. You know, we then started the conversations with lots of other institutions. We actually appointed somebody to manage and run festivals. So that's why Berlin to begin with because it was a very practical issue. Then looking further forward, I mean we wanted to celebrate things within America. So asking Jesse Norman to curate a festival which was all about really celebrating the co- contribution that African-American music has made to the U.S. but to world music in general. And it was interesting when I went to see Jesse to ask her if she'd be willing to do it. She just said, "This is what I've been waiting all of my life to do." It was lovely, you know. So, I mean she really threw herself into it, fantastic. And we knew we wanted to do China. We felt it would be really interesting to juxtapose China and Japan next to each other on the basis that people kind of assume they're very similar. In point of fact, they're unbelievable different. And- and we thought it would be really interesting to explore those together. And now we've got lots of plans in the future, as well, for other festivals.
Jo Reed: And this year it's going to be voices from Latin America.
Clive Gillinson: This year it's Voices from Latin America. And, again, I think one of the things we found, all of us have found most interesting is firstly the huge influences, and the huge contribution that both Latin American and African-American music have made to U.S. culture but as I say world culture as well. But secondly, that they're very different in terms of how they live within their own cultures. When you look at classical music, in particular, but a lot of the, you know, what are often called wrongly, I think, the high arts, like classical music, I mean they- they can be quite challenging. There's often a sense that if you don't know enough about them you're not going to enjoy it or it's going to be, you know, inaccessible. The interesting thing about Latin America, most Latin American culture, about African-American culture is it's for everybody. There isn't-- you know it's defined at high culture or pop culture or low culture or anything. I mean it's good culture-- it's good music or bad music you know…
Jo Reed: As Duke Ellington said.
Clive Gillinson: Yes. And it's really important I think that's an incredibly important fundamental issue. And if we can use that to inform the way people look at complex culture and- and actually insure that you don't build up barriers, that, in fact you pull all of the barriers down and you make it something that really is for everybody then that's very important. And when one looks at everything we do with the Weill Music Institute, our education programs, we never talk about classical music. It's music. And classical music has its place with pop and jazz and everything else. We're not telling kids it's different from the others. You know, they'll- they'll be exploring stuff where, you know, there'll be songs they know. They'll be, you know, all sorts of things. There may be hip hop, whatever it happens to be. And within that context they'll be hearing some Mozart. But nobody's saying this is different. It's all part of music. And- and so I think there's big lessons to be learned that we're trying to translate into other things we do.
Jo Reed: When we think of Carnegie Hall we think of Carnegie Hall, a hall, but in fact, there are three different halls within Carnegie Hall which also gives you flexibility…
Clive Gillinson: Absolutely.
Jo Reed: …and a way to play within the hall.
Clive Gillinson: Yes. I mean as a resource the three halls are phenomenal. The big hall which is 2806 seats which is huge for a symphonic hall. I mean most are not much more than two thousand. And Zankel Hall which is 600 which only opened in 2003 because the original concept with the three halls, the big one and the small one were brilliant and as good as anywhere. And- and the middle hall didn't work at all. And so it became a cinema as you probably know. And it was only in 2003 it came back to the original three-hall concept. So yes, that has transformed Carnegie Hall's ability to work with every sort of music and, you know, make Carnegie Hall much more a part of everybody's life. But I think hand-in-hand with that, you know, as we were talking about earlier, so much of what we do now is about in a sense using the walls to break down the walls. You know, the walls are the reason it's so great. But then how do we make ourselves part of everybody's life? And how do we make ourselves part of the whole music scene. And hopefully be a catalyst for really important developments and changing the role of music in society. So I mean I haven't counted, but my guess is we probably do just as much outside the hall as we do in the hall now in terms of reaching people.
Jo Reed: And you also have a program Musical Connections.
Clive Gillinson: Musical Connections is a wonderful program. We only started that relatively recently. But that is all about reaching out into society into places where people wouldn't normally have access to music and where you can really change lives as well. So, you know, we work in the prison system. We work in the youth at risk centers. We work in old people's homes, in hospitals, hospices, all of these other things. It's very demanding because you've got to have musicians who are very, very well trained to manage what are, you know, can be quite challenging situations. But they're fantastic. And when you go along and you, you know, as I did recently to a youth-at-risk center where all of these kids who, you know, probably even at this age are seen by their parents and their families as a problem and a failure, all of them working together, all of them really working closely with the people who are the staff there who normally may have problems in how you manage kids like that, you know, and all of them actually working together. The parents being really proud of what they're doing. The kids doing things where they can express through poetry and music, you know, their feelings about their families and what's happened to them and so on. And all supporting each other so that you've created a community. You can actually see it transforming lives. And that's just one example out of the dozens and dozens. But those are the sort of things. And I find it's so moving going along to all of those projects. So that was something we started, I think, about three years ago, three-and-a-half years ago. And it's a wonderful program.
Jo Reed: And something you're starting this year is the National Youth Orchestra. Explain what this is going to be.
Clive Gillinson: Absolutely. One of the things that's interesting about the U.S. is how few things are done nationally. I mean it's just you know, part of the history of the country and how the country evolved. There's lots of terrific youth orchestras, you know, in different states, in cities and so on. There is no National Youth Orchestra. And it's from the moment I arrived here I mean I felt that was something we needed to do. It wasn't right at the top of the agenda. It's a demanding thing to put together and quite expensive but we felt it needs to exist for two reasons. One is bringing all of the most talented young musicians together. They all inspire each other and they the lift standards. It has a tremendous impact on everybody. The other piece is as an international youth ambassador for America around the world. So those were the two fundamental purposes. I mean there were other purposes as well. I mean we feel that if you're going to create a National Youth Orchestra of the best young musicians and they're 16 to 19-year-olds. And if you're going to do that it's not just enough to have 120 really extraordinary kids having an unbelievable time working with great conductors. And, you know, and obviously being a wonderful youth ambassador. It's not enough. I mean it's really important that somehow we should find ways that what they're doing they can take back out into their communities. And they can make sure that a lot of other people benefit from the fact this beacon exists, this beacon of excellence. So, you know, we're looking at the whole way we can make sure that it infuses a lot more of the system. So it will be 16 to 19-year-olds. It will meet once a year. It will have about two weeks preparation up at SUNY Purchase where they'll work with the best coaches in the country. And then they'll come together as an orchestra. And then for the first course Valery Gergiev will join them. So to have, you know, one of the world's greatest conductors will be an unbelievable experience. And then they'll work with him. And then they'll do concerts in SUNY Purchase, Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London. It will be one of the best memorable experiences any of them will ever have. And- and I think also it will be the best possible youth ambassador America could have. And I remember when I was in Moscow talking to the U.S. ambassador he said to me, "This is phenomenal. This will do more for the U.S.'s relationships with Russia than almost anything I can do as ambassador." Now, he may have been exaggerating but the point is it really mattered. And exactly the same thing was said to me by the Russian ambassador in Washington that he felt it really mattered that this should happen. So each year we'll go to a different country. So it really is something that works in those terms for America and for America's relationships with the rest of the world. And then the second year, in fact, we will travel all around America because we thought we ought to introduce America to its own National Youth Orchestra. But most of the time we will be traveling internationally which is one course a year. I mean it will be about a month course including the tour. And it will be something firstly those kids will never forget. It will be one of the most important formative influences on their lives. I was- I mean I was in the U.K. National Youth Orchestra. I'll never forget it. I mean it was one of the most important things that ever happened in my life. But it's the impact as well of how you all inspire each other, bringing those kids together everybody will benefit.
Jo Reed: And you've also been very eloquent about the importance of arts education and taking that link away can cause the whole wall to collapse.
Clive Gillinson: Well, I saw it very clearly in Britain because there was one education minister who came in and said, we've got such problems with reading, writing and arithmetic we have to put the emphasis on that. So we're going to make arts less of a priority. After two or three years he realized that actually taking the arts away in that way everybody was doing worse at the others not better. It's all about the growth of people and the growth of people's minds and, you know, again I always come back to the thing in the spirit of inquiry and the spirit of curiosity. It's not just about learning facts. It's about how do we grow and how do our brains grow and how do we become more interesting people? And the trouble with a lot of education is it's linear. You know, you learn and you think there's one answer. I mean you're taught there's a right answer and a wrong answer. The great thing about the arts is there are thousands of answers and there always should be. And actually the most interesting kids in schools are the ones who don't go for the obvious answer, who actually say well what about that or what about that. And very often the teaching says no, you've got to get the right answer and it's left brain, right brain. I mean the left brain is all about the linear education. And how do we actually have a balance between left brain with linear and right brain with conceptual thinking. And, you know, the most important thing about education is those things need to be in balance. And yet, so much of education is linear. And again, I think the arts is an absolutely fundamental part of making sure one grows in that way too.
Jo Reed: And finally, where do you see not just Carnegie Hall but arts in New York in the next decade?
Clive Gillinson: Well, I think it's always hard to see what things translate into. I mean I always say questions are more important than answers. That really lies at the root of my philosophy which is if you ask really good questions and you explore it in the right way out of that will come great answers. I think if you look at anything where people are saying I think this is going to be like this in five years, ten years' time it never is. And the point is anything you've planned if it's going according to plan and in two years' time it's just as you though it would be my view is you've failed because that means you haven't developed the new opportunities that were and that always will be. So I think what I'm really more interested in is the questions about how we can serve people's lives through music. What does that actually mean? How do all of us change our institutions so that instead of being perhaps about the glory of the institution, people asking the questions like, you know, what's good for the brand? What is good for, you know, making Carnegie Hall more prestigious? What is good for how can we monetize these programs? To me those are all completely the wrong questions. You know, brand is never of interest. I mean if we look we've got the most wonderful brand, but we've only got a wonderful brand because of what we do. And if you do things absolutely superbly and you make a contribution to people's lives your brand will always be fine. You don't get brand your right by chasing your brand. And it's the same with everything else. And what I hope is that the way we're trying to approach things which is all about how we contribute to people's lives and how, you know, we do something that really matters for society and for human beings, if that as a fundamental question becomes the one that more arts organizations answer or try to answer so that it's all about what we give, it's never about what we take, it's all about what we contribute, then we'll come up with wonderful answers and it will be an amazing, and really exciting future. I don't think anybody can actually predict what that would be even if seven years ago you'd asked me what Carnegie Hall would be today I wouldn't have dreamt that we'd have been doing all of the things we're doing now. And part of that is because of the possibility of the place. Part of it is because we have a phenomenal team. And, you know, and that's administration team and it's also board and its supporters. And it's a partnership, everything is a partnership. I mean whether it's-- you know we talked about festivals being a partnership. The Academy is the partnership with all of these great partners we work with. Almost everything we do is about partnership and most specifically how you grow as an institution in this way is a partnership and it's a partnership between all of the people who are involved in different ways with the organization. And all of them asking the right questions and really challenging themselves and never being satisfied, and growing in a way that is utterly compelling and that really changes society.
Jo Reed: Clive Gillinson, thank you so much. I look forward to that.
Clive Gillinson: Thanks. So do I.
Jo Reed: That was the Executive and Artistic director of Carnegie Hall, Clive Gillinson.
You've been listening to Art Works, produced at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Adam Kampe is the musical supervisor.
Excerpts from "Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major" by Johann Sebastian Bach; performed by Colin Carr from Selections: Summer 2012,
used courtesy of Creative Commons and the WFMU Free Music Archive.
You can subscribe to Art Works at iTunes U—just click on the iTunes link on our podcast page. Next week, story-telling with and without music, singer/songwriter Josh Ritter talks about his novel, Bright's Passage.
To find out how art works in communities across the country, keep checking the Art Works blog, or follow us @NEAARTS on Twitter. For the National Endowment for the Arts, I'm Josephine Reed. Thanks for listening.