Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, will convene a new series of Dean’s Symposiums during the 2015-16 academic year, bringing innovative artists and thought leaders in the music industry to address the campus community about issues and trends in the field. All five planned events will be free and open to the public, as well as available to view on-line via livestream.
“As the oldest conservatory in the United States and as part of one of the world’s premier research universities, I believe Peabody has an obligation to lead the important national conversation about the future of classical music,” notes Bronstein. “In some ways, classical music has never been more challenged. But I also believe that there have never been more opportunities and avenues to make creative connections through classical music than there are right now. We owe it to our students and to the art we all love to explore these issues in an ongoing, open, and thoughtful dialogue, and I’m pleased that such leaders in our field have agreed to share their insights through these symposiums.”
The series begins on Monday, October 26, with a visit from author, journalist, and cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht. In addition to 12 books about music, Mr. Lebrecht has written two novels and is working on a third. His blog, Slipped Disc, is one of the world’s most-read cultural news sites, drawing well over one million readers every month.
David Handler and Justin Kantor will come to campus on Wednesday, November 18. Mr. Handler and Mr. Kantor are the co-founders of Le Poisson Rouge (LPR), a new kind of arts venue in New York City which aims to blur the lines between art and popular culture, bringing contemporary classical music into the club setting and hosting events across arts and performance genres. LPR has won ‘best of’ awards from Downbeat Magazine, Foursquare, ASCAP, Lonely Planet, New York Magazine, and theVillage Voice.
The president and chief executive officer of the New World Symphony, Howard Herring joins the conversation at Peabody on Monday, February 22. The New World Symphony sees itself as a laboratory for musical education and expression, and under Mr. Herring’s leadership has pioneered the exploration of digital technology, distance learning, and a variety of performance format innovations, resulting in data-informed learnings about what works for classical music, musicians, and audiences today.
The Friday, March 11, symposium will feature Claire Chase, a flutist and 2012 MacArthur Fellow. Ms. Chase is founder and executive/artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), a collection of 35 leading instrumentalists dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. ICE has been described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music.”
The final event in the series will bring Deborah Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, to Peabody on Wednesday, April 6. One of the nation’s most influential arts administrators, Ms. Rutter was previously president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and executive director of the Seattle Symphony and is known for emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and community engagement.
The Dean’s Symposium Series builds on the success of the October, 2014, symposium titled “What’s Next for Classical Music?” which convened a panel of arts leaders from around the country and was viewed across the United States and in 31 countries.
All of the 2015-16 Dean’s Symposiums will begin at 2:30 pm on the Mount Vernon campus of the Peabody Institute. Visit www.peabody.jhu.edu for more information and links to the livestreams.