Chair Donor Profile Barbara Glaser & Richard Panting

For 17 years Barbara Glaser has led the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, pouring her love, time and energy into its success. But her dedication and support isn’t coming to an end – there's one musical chair she'll champion for years to come.

“I may be leaving behind my role as CEO but I’d love to feel that I’ll always be part of the APO family. In September my journey with the APO does not cease, it just changes as I become an audience member, a supporter and embrace my role as a vital ingredient in the APO’s success – as a Chair Donor.”

Before her career as a Chief Executive, Barbara was Orchestra Manager for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. But her roots are as a musician – a trumpet player to be specific. So it is fitting that Barb and her partner Dick Panting are the Chair Donors for a brass position, Principal 3rd Horn, currently filled by Cort Roberts.

“Being a Chair Donor is really important to Dick and me. I believe in putting my money where my mouth is – and I ask so many other people to support the APO; I decided long ago to lead by example. I’ve come to discover that it is a really rewarding way to donate to charity. There are events throughout the year, specifically dedicated to bringing APO musicians and Chair Donors together to mix and mingle. As well as our musicians throughout the years, we’ve got to know the other Chair Donors really well, forming some great friendships that will last for years to come. So many fellow Chair Donors share great relationships with their chair musicians – we get to know each other like an extension of family and it leads to a greater appreciation for the process of making music. I’m really looking forward to getting to know my chair musician better simply as a Chair Donor and supporter - without being his boss.

"Collectively our Chair Donor family makes a huge difference to what is possible for the orchestra – we are the backbone of the APO’s support network – and I’m so proud to count myself as part of that tribe. I know I am making a true difference with my donation to the APO and look forward to continuing our support in this way for years to come. I hope my example will spur others to consider stepping up as a Chair Donor – and I hope they’ll tell me about it over a drink on the Town Hall balcony.”

If you are interested in becoming a Chair Donor like Barb and Dick, supporting the world-class musicians who play within the Auckland Philharmonia, please contact Director of Development Melanie Esplin at 

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