Peter Gelb: Take Risks to Succeed

June 25, 2008 | CUNY Lecture Series, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

Peter Gelb joined the Metropolitan Opera as a teenage usher and after high school and instead of college took a job as an office assistant. Since then, his career has followed a singular path upwards as a producer and recording company executive (president of Sony Classical), culminating in his appointment as general manager of the Met in 2006. Addressing the 2008 William Macaulay Honors College commencement, Gelb told graduates: “Constantly search for knowledge through the experiences that lie ahead of you and take risks in order to achieve what you believe in.” Gelb, who was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, by the College, recounted the multiple challenges of his career and his recent success in revitalizing the Met, including connecting opera to a wider audience through “Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD,” live performances transmitted to movie theaters worldwide, as well as his 24/7 channel broadcasting opera on Sirius Satellite Radio.
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