Riverdale native takes helm of Bronx Arts Ensemble


David Nussenbaum woke up one morning this spring and decided it was time for a career change. After almost 30 years of work in the financial sector, he is succeeding Bill Scribner as the executive director of the Bronx Arts Ensemble (BAE). 

“Now I can really do what I want to do,” Mr. Nussenbaum said.

Mr. Nussenbaum grew up in Riverdale on West 239th Street. He now lives in New Jersey, and although he has been away from the community for decades, he has never forgotten the impact BAE made in his life.

“At a certain age, I became very engulfed in classical music,” he said. “There was this new performing arts group called the Bronx Arts Ensemble and I went religiously to their chamber music concerts. It solidified myself in classical music and there was sort a place in my heart from my teenage years for the Bronx Arts Ensemble.”

The French horn was Mr. Nussenbaum’s instrument of choice while studying at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Wesleyan University, where he majored in music. Despite his devotion to the arts, Mr. Nussenbaum ultimately went on to obtain an MBA from Columbia Business School.  

He said he has no regrets about his going into business. He continued to master the French horn meanwhile. Today, Mr. Nussenbaum is still an active member of a community symphony in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he lives with his family.

After resolving over the spring to pursue his interest in the arts as well as work in the non-profit sector, Mr. Nussenbaum stumbled upon a job listing for BAE.

“Quite frankly, everything clicked. I met the board, it was love at first sight and I think what they really valued was that I presented a mix of serious business and consulting skills with a passion for the arts and education,” Mr. Nussenbaum said. “And I think they felt that at this juncture it was necessary to really have some more business discipline to really take this really great program and institutionalize it a little bit more.”

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