Symphony Winter 2015

Page 52

Cellist Gabriel Cabezas, a Curtis Institute alum, works with a young student through Curtis’s Community Artists Program, which awards recent alumni grants to do community-based entrepreneurship programs.

Nicholas Kitchen, violin instructor at New England Conservatory of Music, created a digital critical edition of Beethoven string quartets.

Robert Vijay Gupta, a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, started a project called Street Symphony that arranges for ensembles to perform at LA County jails and homeless shelters.


ENTREPREN More than just a buzzword, entrepreneurship has become a point

by Ian VanderMeulen



s founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Claire Chase is known for challenging her audiences. But in her convocation address at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in 2013, the flutist and musical entrepreneur probably downright shocked the young crowd by stating: “I’d love for every single one of you to put me out of business. Then I will know that I have done my job.” In a follow-up interview with Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times, Chase confirmed that she “wasn’t kidding” about entrepreneurship. Chase’s comments might sound extreme, but her advocacy for musical entrepreneurship is reflective of broader trends taking hold at conservatories and music schools across the country. From Missouri to Ohio, Colorado to the East Coast, music institutions are offering students multiple points of entry—from optional or required courses to professional opportunities outside school walls—aimed ultimately at integrating entrepreneurship into the core music curriculum. Key to the process is the leadership of music school faculty and alumni, increasing numbers of whom lead entrepreneurial lives themselves. Many entrepreneurship educators point to the “portfolio career” model—musicians making use of proficiency on multiple instruments or in multiple genres, or even stretching their creativity beyond performance to symphony


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