Last week, I got my copy of the Juilliard Journal in the mail, and I was very proud to see this article about Bach and Boombox. A big thank you to Susan Jackson for taking an interest in what I’m doing, and giving it such a nice write-up! It got me thinking about my time at Juilliard Pre-College, and how much the school has changed since then.

Juilliard has always produced great performers – many of the world’s top soloists studied there, and the competition is fierce. Being around future superstars both inspired me to do my best and reminded me that I wasn’t destined to be one of them! So, what next?

Many young musicians past and present have a few traditional options to pursue – winning an orchestral audition, joining a chamber music group, or landing a teaching position.

All of these are wonderful careers, but pursuing them is nearly as competitive as becoming a soloist, and in my experience, music schools, Juilliard included, didn’t offer much guidance to those looking for another way.

Nowadays, things are different, and Juilliard is leading the way in encouraging young players to think differently about the kind of career they will have, with courses in music entrepreneurship and career management, in its Center for Innovation in the Arts.

The school has also created a wonderful partnership with Carnegie Hall and the New York City Department of Education, called the Ensemble ACJW, where gifted young performers get the chance to build careers “as top-quality performers, innovative programmers, and dedicated teachers who fully engage with the communities in which they live and work.” This is a typical mix for most musicians – it’s great to see that being nurtured at such a prestigious institution.

Another great thing happening at Juilliard is the teaching of Greg Sandow, who writes a blog everyone interested in the future of the music business should read. He teaches a class called Classical Music in an Age of Pop, and you can read the syllabus here

Greg asks many of the tough questions our business needs to answer, and he offers some great advice: “Understand and respect the culture outside classical music.” That this needs to be said at all should tell you a lot about how the concert world works! This idea ruffles a lot of feathers in the business, but I’m especially glad that it’s being advocated at Lincoln Center! If Juilliard is moving this way, the rest of us should be too!

Till next time,

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