10 Sep 2023

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra CEO reflects on 17 years

From Culture 101, 2:05 pm on 10 September 2023


Barbara Glaser

Barbara Glaser Photo: Adrian Malloch

When it comes to orchestral leadership, conductors get most of the credit, but even musical directors must answer to the power behind the podium.

After 17 years as CEO of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Barbara Glaser has stepped down. 

Her time at the helm included a global pandemic which forced orchestras everywhere to close their doors.

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s (APO) Connecting: Discovery concert

Photo: ©Adrian Malloch

The Auckland Philharmonia's response was to go big on live-streaming concerts, a strategy which earned it over four million views through the Covid lockdowns.

"The sense of community it gave people, even though they weren't together at that time, was really fantastic," says Barbara."

"We had so many messages from people saying 'This has just really saved us. It's such a depressing outlook, and this is the thing we look forward to'."

Glaser spoke with RNZ Concert’s Three to Seven host Bryan Crump about the orchestra’s online Covid concerts, hiring a new music director (one of the tougher jobs she’s had to take on), and how she's looking forward to advocating for the orchestra as its new patron.