Planned Guests to Inspire and Entertain MSU Community

Artist entrepreneurs share insights on 21st century careers through MSU College of Music Running Start program.

Contemporary chamber music quartet, Brooklyn Rider, visits MSU, left to right: Nicholas Cords, viola; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Michael Nicolas, cello; Johnny Gandelsman, violin. Photo by © Erin Baiano.
Johnny Gandlesman works with College of Music student Diana Moisejenkaite during a visit to the College of Music in January of 2015. Johnny is the son of Yuri Gandlesman, MSU professor of Viola.
Violinist Frank Almond
Contemporary pianist Anthony De Mare. Photo by © Paola Soriani
Composer and arts administrator Jeffrey Nytch

The number of workshops, events, and performances radiating from the MSU College of Music entrepreneurial program Running Start continues to accelerate, with this year’s slate of visitors keenly attuned to new business models for musical careers.

Among the packed line-up of artist entrepreneurs within the 2016-17 season are champions of contemporary music, arts administrators, composers, string performers, concertmasters, and Brooklyn Rider—a lively string quartet that pushes the boundaries of musical genres and draws rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics. Their visit includes a concert on December 1, 2016 at MSU’s Fairchild Theatre.

“This semester's guest artists demonstrate how artists can be advocates and entrepreneurs as well as consummate performers and teachers,” says Christine Beamer, director of Career Services and Music Entrepreneurship at the College of Music. “We’re incredibly excited about featuring artists with national reputations who are reaching audiences and building careers in innovative ways.”

Brooklyn Rider’s visit, Beamer says, also indicates the College’s commitment to featuring high-level artists who are moving classical art music forward as an essential part of contemporary culture. The quartet will come to campus to hold a forum about their entrepreneurial path, as well as offer master classes for students. Composition students will be invited to have their work read and performed by the acclaimed chamber group.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to have a conversation with professional musicians about musical notation, style, as well as idiomatic consideration about writing for string instruments,” says Ricardo Lorenz professor of composition and chair of the Composition Area. “It’s also a great way to put MSU on the map by having such a high-profile group see and hear for themselves the quality of students we attract.”

Violinist and Brooklyn Rider member Johnny Gandelsman remarked on the opportunity to work directly with MSU students, and to share his experiences of applying his classical training to the creation of new music.

“A big part of our work as a string quartet is playing new music,” Gandlesman says. “It is in fact a crucial part of being a musician in the 21st century. The process of working with composers, understanding and finding ways to realize their vision, is rich with learning possibilities for all involved. I am certain this will be a rewarding experience for all of us.”

Other artist entrepreneurs visiting MSU this fall include violinist Frank Almond; contemporary pianist Anthony de Mare; and composer and arts administrator Jeffrey Nytch.

In total, eight artists and speakers will hold Running Start workshops, discussions and master classes this fall, with an equal number expected in the spring. Since 2014, Running Start has hosted 58 artists and speakers, conducted 44 events, and impacted nearly 1,600 students and community members.

College of Music Dean James Forger comments that the rapid growth of the program reflects the College’s commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among students.

“Our goal is to develop their musical excellence in tandem with a broad skillset and awareness of the market necessary to work as productive and successful 21st century musicians,” Forger says.  “Running Start puts students directly in touch with the artist entrepreneurs who have unique insights into creating fulfilling and purposeful careers in today’s world. It’s a fantastic way for students to build an invaluable network of professional musicians and mentors.”

Harp Performance Major Natalie Pate attests that the program and workshops helped change the way she relates to performing and sharing music with others.

“In my musical life and continual development, it’s been important for me to be involved in musical outreach and sharing music with as many different people as possible,” says Pate. “Through Running Start, I have picked up on bits and pieces of information and advice on how to make that happen successfully, both now and in the future.”

Fall 2016 Visiting Artist Entrepreneurs: MSU College of Music Running Start Program

Four nationally prominent artist entrepreneurs will explore entrepreneurial topics through partnerships within the College of Music and the College’s Running Start program during Fall 2016. The partial list of artists who have visited or are slated to come to MSU through the entrepreneurial program includes:

Anthony De Mare
Workshops and Performance: Sept. 8
Topics: The Pianist in the 21st Century; Putting It Together: Commissioning Projects

Anthony de Mare is one of the world’s foremost champions of contemporary music. His versatility has inspired the creation of over 60 new works by some of today’s most distinguished artists, especially in the speaking-singing pianist genre, which he pioneered more than 25 years  ago. As a creator, performer, and co-producer of Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano, de Mar brought together many of today’s most highly regarded emerging and established composers in a landmark commissioning and concert project. He is currently a professor of piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University and serves as new music curator for The Sheen Center of Thought and Culture in NYC.

Frank Almond
Masterclass and Discussion: Oct. 18
Topic: A Musician’s Life: Performer, Entrepreneur, Advocate

Violinist Frank Almond holds the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and recently celebrated 20 years with the MSO. He has been concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic  and guest concertmaster of the London Philharmonic.  He maintains an active schedule of solo and chamber music performances, is a member of the chamber group An die Musik in New York City, and directs the Frankly Music Chamber Series in Milwaukee. Almond serves as Artist/Teacher at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University since 2014, as well as Artist-in-Residence at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony. 

Jeffrey Nytch
Residency: Oct. 20-28
Topics: The Entrepreneurial Musician; Why Don’t We Riot Anymore; The Geological Symphony

Jeffrey Nytch has built a diverse career as a composer, teacher, performer, arts administrator, and consultant. He has also run a small business, co-founded a non-profit service organization in Houston, performed as a vocalist, and served five years as managing director of The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. He has served as the director of the Entrepreneurship Center for Music at the University of Colorado-Boulder since 2009.

Brooklyn Rider, String Quartet
Residency and Performance: Nov. 30-Dec. 1
Masterclass; Student Composition Reading, Entrepreneurship Workshop

Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. The group recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac. This season, Brooklyn Rider releases an album with Anne Sofie von Otter entitled So Many Things on Naïve Records, including music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, among others. Members of Brooklyn Rider are Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Colin Jacobsen, violin; 
Nicholas Cords, viola
; and Michael Nicolas, cello.

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