Fred Bronstein’s entire career has been in the arts, first as a pianist, then as an orchestra CEO and for the past 7 1/2 years, as head of a professional school of performing arts, the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
What’s the most important thing you do in your job?
The most important thing I do in my job is to hire, or ensure we hire, the right people. There is no substitute for that, whether it’s faculty or staff. Our institution isn’t successful because of me. It’s successful because of everyone who works here. Always do what you say you’re going to do. That makes you credible.
Who was your most significant mentor and what did you earn from that person?
Maybe it’s cliché to say, but my greatest mentor was my dad. He had a great work ethic and focus.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I always tell students that they should not pursue an arts career unless they can’t imagine doing anything else. It requires such dedication and resilience. I’m sort of an operating guy. I like running things. I’d run a corporation. They wouldn’t be crazy enough to let me, but it might be fun. Or maybe a writer. I do like to write.