November 14, 2010 (GBN News): New York Philharmonic listeners will never know what they missed. Cathie Black, named this week as NY City Schools Chancellor, had actually preferred to become became the orchestra’s conductor.
In an interview with GBN News gossip columnist Cindy Runson, Ms. Black revealed that she had recently applied for the job, only to find that current conductor Alan Gilbert’s contract does not run out for a number of years. “It was a big disappointment,” she said. “I mean, Gilbert knows music and all, but it takes an experienced manager to get productivity out of a bunch of musicians.”
Mayor Bloomberg bristled at critics who charged that the Chancellor’s position will now be seen as merely a consolation prize to a crony. “She’s just as qualified to run a school system as to conduct the Philharmonic,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters at City Hall. “It’s the same skill set. You just have to deal with interest groups instead of instruments.”