Classical Music Impresario Ernest Fleishmann

TUE, DEC 15, 2009 (8:27)

Ernest Fleischmann, the former General Manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, can be credited with turning this once provincial institution into a world famous orchestra. He was also instrumental in hiring Esa-Pekka Salonen, the famous Finnish music director and composer, and more recently the flamboyant Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, who, baton in hand, has taken the classical music world by storm. Now in his 80’s, Ernest looks back at his career in a conversation with ThoughtCast, at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

+ BIO: Ernest Fleischmann

Ernest Fleischmann was one of the most successful orchestra managers in the world. He left Frankfurt at age 12 when his parents fled from Adolf Hitler to settle in Cape Town. As a young man in South Africa, he organized two music festivals, and at age 35 Fleischmann was hired as general director by the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1969, he took over the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he guided the orchestra’s direction for 29 years. During that time, he transformed a good provincial orchestra into an orchestra with a worldwide reputation. He attracted music directors of international stature, created links to the film music industry and made the traditional Hollywood Bowl America’s largest summer festival. – from a profile by Georg Hirsch

+ BIO: Jenny Attiyeh

My name is Jenny Attiyeh, and I began my career in 1987 in London as a freelance reporter on the arts for the BBC World Service Radio. I remember my first interview for “Meridian”, as the program I worked for was called. It was with Placido Domingo, and I’ve never been so nervous since. After my work permit ran out, I returned to Los Angeles, my home city, and continued as an arts reporter for KCRW, an NPR station in Santa Monica. While there, I reported and produced an award-winning documentary on Japanese-American internment during World War II. Shortly after, I was accepted to a National Public Radio residency, which brought me to Washington, D.C. and to WBUR, an NPR station in Boston to report stories for NPR’s Performance Today. I later attended the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. After that, I remained in New York City for 9 years, during which time I worked primarily as a reporter on television and radio. I hosted and produced a weekly arts and culture segment for WNYC TV, a PBS station, until it went out of business (thanks to then Mayor Giuliani, who sold the station). Before the lights went out, I managed to produce a mini-documentary on the making of a Philip Glass opera, “Les Enfants Terribles.” I worked next as a correspondent for a nationally televised PBS program called “Freedom Speaks” which focused on the media, until it too was taken off the air. (I detect a pattern here…) In between gigs, I also worked as a reporter for WBAI radio, a Pacifica station, and WNYC radio, an NPR station, covering local politics and the arts. I then moved to Maine, where I lived by the harbor in Kittery, and worked as a reporter for New Hampshire Public Television. There, I covered the ‘99/2000 New Hampshire presidential primary season, and interviewed the major presidential candidates. I also participated as a panelist in nationally televised presidential debates, hosted by Peter Jennings and Tim Russert. Following the conclusion of the New Hampshire primary season, I moved to Boston, where I did freelance writing on academics, the 2004 presidential campaign and the single life, among other subjects. From this base, in early 2005, I launched ThoughtCast.

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