Matthew VanBesien joined the New York Philharmonic as Executive Director Designate in March 2012; he became Executive Director in September of that year and was named President in June 2014. Since coming to the Philharmonic he has expanded the Orchestra’s role as a resource to its hometown community, such as through the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL in the spring of 2014, and across the country and globally, evidenced in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, partnerships with cultural institutions to create projects that combine performance with intensive training by Philharmonic musicians. These include collaborations with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
Previously, Mr. VanBesien served as managing director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2010–12); this followed positions at the Houston Symphony as executive director and chief executive officer (2005–10) and general manager (2003–05). He is a member of the Board of Overseers for The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, one of the leading conservatories in the United States, and he serves on the Executive Committee for the Avery Fisher Career Grants, which provides professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Matthew VanBesien earned a bachelor of music degree in French horn performance from Indiana University. As a professional musician, he was second French horn of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans from 1992 to 2000. In the 2001–02 season he completed the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, when he worked at a variety of American orchestras and festivals. In May 2014 Mr. VanBesien received an Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music. He is married to Rosanne Jowitt, a geoscientist.