An informative profile of Robert Massey, the Louisville Orchestra’s CEO.


Robert Massey is the topic of Business First’s profile, and it’s an opportune moment to raise a glass to the Louisville Orchestra’s comeback these past few years.

Naturally having Teddy Abrams as music director is a proverbial game-changer, and it remains true that no one ever pays good money to watch a conductor and CEO sit alone on stage in folding chairs without an orchestra playing behind them.

The overarching point is having a quality front office guy, which Massey seems to be, because I’ll hazard a guess that finding new audiences for an orchestra in today’s climate of abject stupidity has to be one of the more difficult tasks in the world of music — maybe in the world, period.

But the LO is doing it. In full realization of my contrarian tendencies, it matters more to have a smaller-market symphony orchestra nipping at the heels of the big-city category leaders than U of L winning basketball games. I suppose they’re not mutually exclusive.

Allow me to repeat: if you’re over here in SoIn, consider a season ticket for the LO’s four annual shows at the Indiana University Southeast’s Ogle Center. Ticket costs are reasonable, and it’s a short drive for most of us. I believe this is our fourth year as subscribers, and we both look forward to these dates.

ECONOMY OF SCALES: How Louisville Orchestra’s CEO is molding ‘the most interesting orchestra on the planet, by Sarah Shadburne (Louisville Business First)

… A lot of the work for Massey — and others trying to serve the arts community — lies in the way organizations like the orchestra are perceived.

“If people don’t see the orchestra being for them, they’re not going to engage. That holds true for audiences of different ages, ethnicities, even different socioeconomic statuses,” Massey said. “We want to come to this conversation with listening, rather than saying ‘this is what we need from you.’ We flipped the tables to say, ‘what do you need from us?’”