David Palmer, vice-president and chief development officer
David Palmer is the University of Toronto's vice-president and chief advancement officer.
1. As a fundraiser, are you concerned about opportunities given the current economic climate?
Over the short term, yes, no doubt there will be an impact. We have to be sensitive to circumstances of those giving out of income or earnings. Long term, no. Over the past 100 years or so, North American philanthropy has grown every year except one -- 1987. Economic crises, such as that in 1987, may slow the rate of growth, but there is usually a bounce back in the philanthropic growth rate within one or two years.
2. What did you study at Princeton? What drew you to the area of musicology?
I concentrated on medieval and renaissance music, but also pursued interests in opera, Beethoven and Japanese music. I was drawn to both the highly abstract and interpretive aspects of analysis and to the nuts and bolts historical disciplines of transmission and reception -- ink blots and palimpsests still fascinate me, as does seeing the everyday world through the lens of timeless masterpieces.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience as president and executive director of the ROM Board of Governors and what your favourite accomplishments were
The ROM, and the cultural sector broadly, has enjoyed a resurgence in this city that no one expected. I loved how the expansion project and its architecture excited controversy -- even among those who did not like Daniel Libeskind's design, there was a recognition that Toronto and Canada needed it, that it would be a necessary and celebrated symbol of the country's innovative spirit and vitality. The new architecture was only half the project. The renovations to the heritage wings were just as extensive, and among the best has been the creation of the new Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan -- a precious jewel that speaks to Canada's warm relations with Japan and to a stellar collection not seen in generations.
4. What kind of music do you listen to when you want to dance?
Although dancing runs in my family (my sister and daughter have and are devoting a big part of their lives to it), it seems to have skipped a generation with me. When I feel like dancing, I'm generally advised to find a nice quiet room somewhere and lie down until the urge passes.
5. What kind of music do you listen to when you want to relax?
I covet my son Michael's iPod. He has everything from John Coltrane to Miles Davis to Marvin Gaye to Queen to Kanye West -- pretty much the best of everything in the last 50 years. Whenever we drive somewhere together, the iPod goes on shuffle and we crank it up. At home, I listen to a lot of Cassandra Wilson, Hiromi, Astor Piazzolla
and pretty much all the usual classical suspects.
6. What are you reading right now?
I'm an incessant reader. My night table has John Burnett's Bangkok Haunts, John
Banville's The Sea, Nick Hornby's Slam and Robert Gellately's Lenin, Stalin and Hitler.
7. Favourite restaurant near or on campus?
I have to say C5 at the ROM. Gorgeous view of the campus and southern city skyline and exquisite menus by resident genius Ted Corrado running heaven's kitchen.
8. One change you'd like to see on the St. George campus?
Fewer to no cars on front campus.
9.Wine or beer?
Is there a reason I have to choose?
10. Cake or pie?
Compiled by Tammy Thorne