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Matthew VanBesien, Managing Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since February 2010, has been appointed Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic after a 16-month international search.
The Missouri native who studied French horn at Indiana University takes up the top administrative post at America's oldest orchestra in March 2012.
Initially he will work with his predecessor Zarin Mehta (brother of conductor Zubin Mehta) in a transitional period to last for the remainder of the season. The retiring Mehta, who earns US$807,000 a year, has held the position since 2000.
Prior to the Melbourne Symphony, VanBesien, 42, served first as General Manager then as Executive Director and CEO of the Houston Symphony.
"My work at the MSO has been invaluable in that it has given me international experience with a great orchestra in a fantastic arts city, the chance to work on the transition while the Hamer Hall is being renovated, to progress a search for a new chief conductor, and to help reinvigorate marketing and fundraising initiatives for the company," he said.
"My proudest achievement is our huge progress in education and community programming. From Education Week to our iPad app, the MSO is a real leader in this area, and everyone in the organisation is truly behind these efforts and what they mean for the MSO in the future."