Adam Aron: ‘Undaunted and unafraid’
Vail, CO, Colorado
Four minutes and 31 seconds. That’s how long Adam Aron, former CEO of Vail Resorts, will spend conducting the New York Philharmonic at the Ford Amphitheater on Thursday.
At last summer’s Bravo! gala, Aron paid $30,000 in a live auction for the honor, and he’s been practicing his conductor moves since February, he said. Over the last few months he’s listened to the piece literally hundreds of times, mostly on planes while traveling for his job as the chairman and CEO of World Leisure Company, he said.
“I put on my headphones and start conducting in my seat. I’ve gotten many a look from a flight attendant going ‘Who’s the lunatic in row four flapping their arms?'” Aron said during a phone interview.
Aron took a classical music course during his freshman year in college and fell in love with classical music, he said.
“So it’s been a whole six or seven years that it’s been close to my heart,” he said, laughing.
Aron will be conducting Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dance,” number eight in G minor, opus 46 ” nicknamed “the furiant.”
The piece itself has a furious tempo, Aron said, which is fitting.
“I like loud exciting, dramatic classical music and the piece that they chose for me while short, is quite intense,” he said.
Though $30,000 seems like a mighty big chunk of change for just over four minutes of anything, Aron said that over the years Bravo! has brought him significant personal enjoyment.
“Bravo does enormous good each summer,” Aron said.
The other reason Aron was prompted to bid on the conductorship is that it’s a rare opportunity.
“Being the second amateur to conduct the New York Philharmonic is a pretty heady notion,” he said.
Even though the closest Aron’s been to conducting an orchestra is in the shower, he said he’s ready for his Thursday night baton weilding session. And no, he’s not afraid.
“Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said ‘I have nothing to fear but fear itself,’ but clearly he was never asked to conduct the New York Philharmonic. Having said that I’m undaunted and unafraid ” but I might need a lot of luck.”