Through his innovative programming, he reached a large and diverse part of New York City's population, while still honoring Carnegie Hall's great traditions. For Gillinson, it was simply a matter of asking the right question. [1:38]
Clive Gillinson: I think there's something very energizing about innovation, about changing your role, developing your role, growing in really exciting ways. And I think the biggest piece about the direction we've moved in is about becoming a really outward looking organization rather than inward. And a lot of great institutions do get stuck, you know, because they get stuck on thinking what's best for the institution. My view is that's never the right question. And I remember when I started, you know, often people would say what's best for Carnegie Hall? And I always said it's not the right question. The only question we should ask is what's best for the impact we can have on people's lives through music. If we answer that, then we'll know what's best for Carnegie Hall. And so it's the whole thing of getting people to look at our role in society is what's driven the change. But it's also the fact that when I came and, you know, we started developing these ideas for big festivals we wanted a whole cross-cultural context. It wasn't just about all the best of music. But really creating a cross-cultural context for it. And everybody said New York organizations don't work together. So I went to see MOMA and Guggenheim and all of these places and they all said, wonderful we'd love to work with you. So it was just this assumption about the fact that everybody operates institutionally. But the minute you actually start having conversations about what could we all do together? How can we all make the lives of New Yorkers and the people that are our community better, everybody loves to have that conversation. So you know, you also have sometimes to deal with perceptions that people assume are correct but actually aren't at all.