When law meets the performing arts

Jeremy Leung (OM 2003) plays an important role in ensuring the artistic and cultural work continues at Carnegie Hall. Read more.

Carnegie Hall is New York’s premier concert venue. Like many organisations within the arts industry, philanthropic contributions are a vital source of income, often enabling the entity to present a richer and more diverse arts programme to the community.

As Manager of Corporate Relations and Sponsorships, Jeremy Leung (OM 2003), plays an important role in ensuring this artistic and cultural work continues.

But, it wasn’t always that way. Indeed, when Jeremy completed his studies at Melbourne Grammar School, he initially headed in quite a different direction.

After studying a Bachelor of Arts/Laws at the University of Melbourne, Jeremy worked as a solicitor focusing on project infrastructure at the international commercial law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, for almost five years. While the work was interesting, there was something missing for Jeremy.

“One of the things I most remember about attending Melbourne Grammar School was the appreciation that each person is multi-faceted and may have multiple interests,” explains Jeremy. “When I was there, you were encouraged to cultivate your passions. I really enjoyed my work at [Herbert Smith] Freehills, but because of the nature of the work, work-life balance was challenging. I just didn’t have time to pursue my other interests.”

Jeremy had been an aspiring ballet dancer throughout his schooling life. Although pursuing a professional ballet career was an option for him at the end of Year 12, Jeremy elected not to move in that direction. But the passion remained.

Jeremy spent time considering how he could combine his interests in a professional setting and, ultimately, set his sights on a career in arts administration, enrolling in a Masters in Performing Arts Administration at NYU.

“I thought a Masters degree would not only provide me with an entry-point in the field and gain some valuable and relevant skills, but it would also enable me to build a network which would enhance my employment prospects,” says Jeremy. “As one of the world’s major cultural hubs, it seemed sensible to study in New York. Not to mention, it would be just plain exciting to do something like this in New York!”

Jeremy undertook several internships as part of the Masters programme. “My internship at New York City Ballet focused on strategy and analytics,” he explains. “It was really eye-opening to see how they leveraged their creative assets to build new relationships and explore business development opportunities. I think it was then that I truly understood how my corporate law experience could bring something to arts administration.”

Approached by Carnegie Hall, Jeremy commenced working there earlier this year. “I love my job,” says Jeremy. “I meet interesting people. I have opportunities to think creatively and, most importantly, I have been able to combine my corporate, legal and performing arts interests into a career.”

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