Raymond Kaplan

You’ve probably seen Ray pouring cider at intermission. But his slightly more important role is serving as FOM’s chairman of the program committee, helping to select the wonderful artists who perform, a board function he’s served for a quarter century. Satisfying a variety of musical tastes and instruments isn’t easy—and Ray only gets to cast one vote.

A physics professor by training, Ray got involved with FOM when physics colleague at Cooper Union and fellow board member, David Kraft, put the moves on him. Of course, music has never been far from Ray’s life: His wife, Elizabeth is a violist, and she isn’t shy about having musician friends over for a pickup game of string quartets. He and Liz frequently attend concerts in NYC and Caramoor.

MUSICAL MOMENTS: Ray says that he never heard classical music until his mid-teens and that it was the greatest revelation of his life, after discovering Bach and Beethoven, Bartok and Shostakovitch. In his 30s, he started learning to play cello—too late, alas, to make music he could enjoy.