Music and CEOs: Mr Hans Michael Jebsen An elegant, kind, and genuine music lover
Picture yourself as an adventurous traveller in the beautiful Danish countryside during the 19th Century. Imagine an aristocratic-looking gentleman kindly inviting you inside his home. As you walk through the hallways, you’re astonished by the beauty of the decor from the rare Chinese and Western oil paintings on the walls to the handcrafted China that enhances the gorgeous house. Everything about this home is flawless, and offers you insight into what kind of person your new friend might be. Now, let us fast forward to modern times. When I met Mr. Jebsen, the guest of honour of this article, in his own property in Denmark, I felt transported into something out of a historical novel. It turns out that Mr. Hans Michael Jebsen, himself, is a modern day gentleman with immense wisdom, charm, and comprehensive knowledge of art, history, and music.
You will always feel at ease with Mr. Jebsen. His persona, manner, and kindness are heartwarming. I have met plenty of CEOs and successful businessmen in my life, but Mr. Jebsen is unique in his own way. He has an unequivocal passion for music and the arts, and he genuinely wants to see people succeed. I find that he is unparalleled in this way.
Mr. Hans Michael Jebsen is the Chairman of Jebsen Group https://www.jebsen.com. Founded in 1895, the Jebsen Group is a privately owned multi-conglomerate that distributes goods ranging from Porsche cars to Dyson products, but Mr. Jebsen is also very invested in the arts and in music. He is the Chairman of the Asian Cultural Council Hong Kong and Vice Chairman of the Asian Cultural Council New York
I had the pleasure of playing a duet (or you could call it a ‘spontaneous jam session’) with Mr. Jebsen few years ago. He was on the violin and I played the piano. It was an unusual experience as I had previously assumed that most CEOs do not have time to practise their instruments. Given Mr. Jebsen’s action-packed schedule, I found his performance to be surprisingly pleasant.
I’ve long known that wealth does not automatically bring class nor genuine respect; However, Mr. Jebsen and his wife, Desiree, are two of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. They are the epitome of class. They actually want to make this world a better place for underprivileged people, especially less fortunate writers, artists, musicians, and young people.
My interview with Mr. Jebsen:
Do Re Mi: What was the most unforgettable concert you have ever attended?
Mr. Jebsen: It was Austrian composer Anton Bruckner’s “Symphony Number Five” conducted by renowned German conductor Eugen Jochum. The brass in the last movement was extraordinary astonishing and powerful.
Do Re Mi: “Symphony Number Five” in B-flat major by Anton Bruckner was written in 1875–1876. Mr Bruckner, himself, in fact, never heard this symphony performed by an orchestra. Both Bruckner and Jochum are considered to be influential composers and conductors of their times. Bruckner was known for his rich harmonies, length, and polyphonic structures. In terms of music compositions, Bruckner was best known for his masses, symphonies, and motets.
Jochum has worked with many world leading orchestras such as the Hamburg State Opera, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra as musical director and conductor.
Do Re Mi: What role would you like to play in an orchestra?
Mr. Jebsen: I would want to be the conductor. It feels natural to combine instruments along with remembering the score in order to follow the flow, to picture the music three dimensionally.
Do Re Mi: What would be the top five songs on your playlist?
Mr Jebsen: I do not think it is enough to select just five songs. There are many composers who are less well known. Their works also deserve public recognition. Five is just too small to include the whole spectrum. Brahms and Sibelius are, of course, on top of the great composers list, but there are many other composers who do not have the means nor huge budgets to promote their records.
Do Re Mi: Young people like hip hop, rock, and pop. What is your advice to parents? Why is it important for young people to listen to classical music?
Mr. Jebsen: Symphonic and classical music helps to build up a reservoir and dimension for your soul and heart. Music of today has different functions from dance music to light entertainment. Great composers like Gershwin wrote music in a classical structure with a contemporary touch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gershwin
Do Re Mi: What has the Jebsen Group done to help young artists?
Mr. Jebsen: We have been supportive of education in Asia and other parts of the world for many years. I am also on the board of trustees of the Asia Society http://asiasociety.org. The Asia Society strives to promote cultural exchange of which music an important part.
Other Charitable Organizations funded by Mr. Jebsen include
Hans Jacob Jebsen Fonden
Michael Jebsen Fonden
Jebsen Education Foundation
Michael Jebsen Memorial Foundation