MEET THE STAFF: David Gasper, Director of Artistic Operations and Artistic Administrator


Where did you grow up? I grew up in New Orleans, land of Mardi Gras and dixieland jazz, and my first musical instrument was the saxophone. I switched to horn when I discovered classical music.

What is your favorite song, artist, musical memory? When I was a teen, my mother bought me a couple of recordings featuring the music of Grieg and Sibelius. I politely thanked her, thinking that I would never listen to them since I was too cool to listen to classical music. You can guess the next part.

Favorite meal or restaurant? I would have to say China Pearl in Boston for Dim Sum. It reminds me of the Dim Sum palaces we used to haunt in Singapore.

Coffee or Tea? Coffee, dark roast, black no sugar.

You’re stuck on a desert island…What book, music/album/artist and movie do you want with you? For laughs, I would have to have my collection of Bill Bryson books though I do love the novels of Charles Dickens, so I would plead for him as well. Bach’s music would be sufficient if I could only take one composer. I’m not much of a movie person, but if I have to pick one it’s “A Room with a View”. I do like Merchant/Ivory films. And you expected me to say “Die Hard III”?

What’s your pet situation? I was always a dog person, but three years ago, a stray cat visited my back porch where I was lounging. She jumped right up on me and started purring contentedly. After a few more visits and a can of tuna, she was invited into the house where she remains. Her name: Tuna.

What’s your title and how would you describe your role? Director of Artistic Operations and Artistic Administrator. (We should really shorten that to ArtOp, don’t you think?). The operations part is all of the mechanics of putting on concerts. The Artistic Administrator side is planning programming and negotiating contracts with artists’ managers.

How long have you been at the RI Phil? Since forever.

What brought you to the RI Phil? I was recruited by a former Executive Director, and I liked the orchestra and the area enough to relocate. I was living in Long Island at the time and the rat race was getting to me.

What do you want people to know about the RI Phil? The orchestra punches way above its weight.

How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day? The staff is still at work for the organization, so I do work at home. The difference is that I can blast the music down in my music cave while I work. I could really get use to this.

Any words of wisdom to help others through this? Try not to turn into this guy:


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