My Great Minds Think a Lot blog about UMS President Matthew VanBesien

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 8.08.09 PM.pngThis profile is part of Destination Ann Arbor’s Great Minds Think a Lot series, highlighting influential leaders in Washtenaw County who make a positive impact within our community.

Former University Musical Society President Ken Fischer left some pretty enormous shoes to fill when he retired in 2017 – and Matthew VanBesien may be one of the few people in the world whose metaphorical feet were big enough for the job.

For VanBesien – who’d begun his career as an orchestra musician (playing french horn) – served as President of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and then the New York Philharmonic before making the move Ann Arbor; so to say he’s accustomed to a high profile in the performing arts world would be a bit of an understatement.

But in an effort to get to know VanBesien more personally, I recently asked him some questions about his new life in Ann Arbor – which led to some surprising confessions involving workplace polka bands and the nostalgic pull of A&W Root Beer. READ THE REST HERE


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