New Jersey Symphony CEO Quits Amid Questions into Past

Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 09:00 AM

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra president and CEO Richard Dare resigned Friday, after questions arose about a past criminal case and over his business experience in a New York Times investigation. He had just started in the job on January 2.

Dare had made a splash in the orchestra field as a former entrepreneur with bold ideas about how to shake up classical music. From May 2011 to late 2012, he was the CEO of the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

His resignation stemmed from inquires into a 1996 criminal case in California, in which he was charged with an attempted lewd act upon a 15-year-old girl, whom he later married. At the time, he pleaded no contest, was placed on three years' probation and was registered as a sex offender in California. In a statement Friday, Dare said that the “media attention to my family’s personal life will harm the organization and musicians I cherish, as well as needlessly embarrass my wife."

The Times report also questioned a number of Dare's stated business accomplishments. The paper was unable to verify several claims in his published biography, including that he was a major player in Asian investments through a company called Pacific Rim Partners Inc., and that he was a director of New Image Orthodontic Group. In fact, a former colleague described him as a "life coach" to one of its employees.

Dare had also reportedly misrepresented his involvement in government affairs. He claimed to have been an expert witness to testify before Congress on issues of tax policy and its impact on nonprofit organizations. The Times uncovered no evidence of this in government transcripts.

“We are deeply disappointed, and we are thankful we are able to move forward quickly," said NJSO board co-chairs Stephen Sichak and Ruth Lipper in a statement Saturday. The orchestra's longtime vice president of operations and general manager Susan Stucker will step in as its interim president & CEO until a successor to Dare is found.


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Comments [4]

Floria from New York

Interesting how his non-musical background led him to a top spot in a very viable top musical organization. To bring in the bucks?? Let's see, one organization is already changing orchestra attire, there's not too much wiggle room for an orchestra....maybe the musicians could all wear masks...that would be "edgy"...or maybe videos going on the backdrop??? Actually it's easier to do all that cr_p with opera companies...

Jan. 17 2013 11:50 AM
orclover from Roma

Interesting how people can find the government's laws to be so thoughtful, benevolent, and righteous when they suit their agenda and beliefs, but when those very same people run up against laws that they don't like, they're the first ones shrieking and hollering to stop the repressive unjust laws that they don't agree with. Anyone who doesn't agree with their point of view must be a knuckle dragging, unenlightened moron, right? Impossible that anyone with a differing point of view could possibly have a kernel of truth to their way of looking at an issue. I guess Orwell was right when he said that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. Yeah, sex between a 31 year old and a pubescent girl is awesome! Pedophilia is the new norm! Hooray!

Jan. 15 2013 05:47 PM

15 and even 14 are the ages of consent in half a dozens states, what a rotten society America has become when someone involved with a 15 yo. girl who has been married to her for almost two decades is labeled a "child molester". Sick, hateful people.

How does that disqualify someone who's on a "educational mission and works with children in outreach"? Sick.

And some folks have a moldy idea of what classical music should be and can't picture that it is at its most vibrant when it interacts with other art forms, even cartoon music and rap.

Jan. 15 2013 02:48 PM
orclover from Rome, Italy

New Jersey's most respected newspaper just published a piece on this story which reads in part: "As CEO and managing director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Dare and artistic director Alan Pierson had reinvigorated the ensemble, presenting critically acclaimed concerts specifically geared toward local communities: Russian cartoon music in Brighton Beach, a rap collaboration in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He seemed a perfect fit for the NJSO."

Really? A perfect fit? Cartoon music and a rap collaboration, a bogus record of achievement in business and lying about "testifying" before Congress...then there's the PR nightmare of Dare's record of molesting a child to contend with (never mind moral considerations about child molestation). I think this story illustrates why the orchestra (and many of our other arts organizations) is in trouble and it's not the troubled Mr. Dare I point the finger at but the Board of the Orchestra. Who in their right mind would choose to elevate someone with such a hollow record of accomplishment to such an important, key position in the life of an organization, one that is as open to scrutiny as it is, being a publicly funded org. The fact that it also has an educational mission and works with children in outreach, etc., disqualifies a child molester as being its leader!!! Why is this so hard to see??? Shame on you Board of NJSO.
Star Ledger

Jan. 13 2013 07:58 AM

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