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Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, since 2007. All written content © 2014 by Paul Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Dare Gone (Horribly) Wrong

Orchestra chief resigns...after nine days on the job.
Yes this is a photo of British sci-fi hero Dan Dare, not disgraced exec Richard Dare.
But it's a lot more fun than a headshot of a guy in a blue tie.
Image © Dan Dare Corporation.
Richard Dare, the President of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has resigned his position with the orchestra after just nine days. According to a story in today's New York Times, Mr. Dare's sudden decision followed the revelation that in 1996 he was charged with an "attempted lewd act" on a 15-year old girl.

The Times story, by investigative reporter Daniel J. Wakin, cites a story in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The Riverside piece recounts how Mr. Dare was caught "naked" with the future Mrs. Dare at the latter's home. An indictment was brought. Mr. Dare pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years probation. He was also registered as a sex offender in California. The case was dismissed in 1999.

The girl married Mr. Dare when she turned 18.

At a Friday press conference, Mr. Dare announced his resignation from his position with the  NJSO. In a prepared statement, he said "media attention to my family’s personal life will harm the organization and musicians I cherish, as well as needlessly embarrass my wife."

He did not take any questions.

NJSO co-chairman Stephen Sichak stated: "The situation has become a distraction and is keeping us from being able to do what we do best."

The article also delved into Mr. Dare's background and curriculum vitae, questioning certain claims related to his business accomplishments. The newspaper was unable to verify a number of statements in Mr. Dare's published biography, despite contributions from reporters overseas.

Among the statements called into question by  Times reporters are Mr. Dare's claim that he has been regularly invited to testify before Congress, that he was a major player in Far East investments through his firm Pacific Rim Partners, and that he owned global gas shipping fund, "Sunrise Tankers."

The NJSO has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years under the baton of music director Jacques Lacombe. The orchestra gives regular concerts at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and schedules performances at theaters in New Brunswick, Red Bank and Princeton. The orchestra's website no longer lists Mr. Dare as a member of the board.

Earlier this month, Mr. Lacombe launched the orchestra's third Winter Festival, with a concert presenting the Fourth Symphony of Michael Tippett and The Planets by Gustav Holst. In Mr. Dare's program notes, the executive claimed to be a composer in his own right, who studied musical composition at Loma Linda College in London, England.

Mr. Dare first came to the attention of the New York classical music scene thanks to his efforts to reinvent the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He served as Chief Executive of that Orchestra for two years, supervising a move from regular concerts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to a concert schedule that saw the orchestra move around Brooklyn, generating interest by playing in local neighborhoods.
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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.