The Peabody Post

Peabody Dean’s Symposium Series Welcomes Music Industry Thought Leaders

_JHU8066_a_webThe Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University welcomes music industry thought leaders Aaron Dworkin, Blair Tindall, Alex Ross, and Peter Sellars as featured speakers in the 2016-17 Dean’s Symposium Series. Launched last year, the Dean’s Symposium Series provides a platform for conversation about the future of music and the issues facing professional musicians today. All four planned events will be free and open to the public, as well as available to view online via live stream.

“These four guests are among the most innovative, forward-thinking artists and leaders out there,” notes Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute. “As practitioners and writers, to a person, they are clear-eyed and insightful about the challenges facing our industry and bold in their work to advance music. I’m very much looking forward to engaging our community in these important conversations.”

The series begins on Monday, October 10, with Aaron Dworkin, an alumnus of the Peabody Preparatory who is now the dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2005, is a former member of the National Arts Policy Committee, and was President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts. Dean Dworkin founded the Dworkin Foundation where he serves as chairman of the board. He is also the founder of The Sphinx Organization, a leading national arts organization for transforming lives through the power of diversity and the arts. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and educator, he continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities.

Writer and oboist Blair Tindall will speak on Monday, November 28. Her first book – Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music – is the basis of the Amazon Studios comedy series which announced its third season in February. Ms. Tindall is credited not only as the “based on” author, but also as consultant and actor for the series. She completed Mozart in the Jungle during a fellowship in 2004 at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H. She also writes about classical music for The New York Times and has performed, toured, and recorded with the New York Philharmonic.

The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross will be the third speaker on the series on Monday, February 6. His first book – The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, a cultural history of music since 1900 – won a National Book Critics Circle award and the Guardian First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His second book is the essay collection Listen to This. In 2008, he was named a MacArthur Fellow; he has also received an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Belmont Prize in Germany.

The final event in the series will bring American theater and opera director Peter Sellars to Peabody on Monday, April 17. Renowned worldwide for his innovative treatments of classical material from Western and non-Western traditions and for his commitment to exploring the role of the performing arts in contemporary society, Mr. Sellars teaches Art as Social Action and Art as Moral Action at UCLA’s Department of World Arts Cultures/Dance. He has served as artistic director of the Los Angeles Festival, the American National Theatre at the Kennedy Center, the Boston Shakespeare Company, and the Elitch Theatre for Children in Denver and is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship. Mr. Sellars wrote the libretto for John Adams’ opera Girls of the Golden West, and he will direct the premiere at San Francisco Opera in November 2017.

All of the 2016-17 Dean’s Symposiums will begin at 2:30 pm in the Cohen-Davison Family Theatre on the Mount Vernon campus of the Peabody Institute and will include time for questions from the audience. Visit for more information and links to the live streams.

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