now hiring

In a previous post, I wrote about my visit to Community MusicWorks and my plans to start a similar program in Cincinnati. Time for an update – there are a lot of things we’ll need help with, but I’ll start with the most pressing:

Wanted – violinist for community-based string quartet.

The ideal candidate will have significant experience with performing chamber music at a high level, teaching violin and chamber music, engaging underserved audiences and students, fundraising, board development, web design and SEO, budgeting, accounting, and social media. Must be willing to to work long hours with no immediate promise of compensation. Independent wealth, lack of social life and family obligations are preferred, though not required.

As the kids today put it: So……um……yeah.

All kidding aside, the person we’re looking for will have to wear several hats – which ones will depend on everyone’s strengths and interests. My hope is to eventually have a paid staff member to handle some of these tasks, but at the outset, we’ll be doing everything. I have two great colleagues already, violinist Sujean Kim and violist Kevin Boden – both are terrific players (and people!) who are committed to building a quartet that will be part of the fabric of Cincinnati.

So if you are or know the violinist we’re looking for, please let me know! Here’sa word document with a fuller job description:

violinist job description – Community String Quartet

Cincinnati is renowned for its musical institutions – the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony are both reminders that the city punches well above its weight class, culturally. Chamber music is well-represented, with two well-respected presenting series bringing world-class ensembles to town, as well as a resident quartet at CCM (the excellent Ariel Quartet).

What we don’t have here, though, is a quartet that is part of the community, performing and teaching in neighborhood settings, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll be working with kids who otherwise might not have the chance to study string instruments privately, and whose academic work will benefit from the boost music lessons are well-known to give, as well as the mentorship we hope to give them.

Along with private instrumental lessons, the kids will learn to play chamber music themselves, which helps them develops teamwork and leadership skills. As the program grows, we may include an El Sistema-style orchestra program, too.

When we find our fourth, we’ll start rehearsing and developing concert and educational programs. There’s lots more to do, though, and that’s where you come in.

We need to choose a name for the group – ideas that will resonate with Cincinnati residents are especially welcome (to my fellow Reds fans, please note – The Pete Rose Quartet has already been considered and set aside). Seriously, names of streets or local cultural/historical figures are great – please post or e-mail your suggestions.

We will also begin planning house concerts – much of the great chamber music repertoire was first heard in private homes, and that’s a tradition we’d like this group to build on. If you want to host a performance or know someone who would, please let me know that, too. These concerts will help us build a base of support in the community and raise funds for the most important piece of this project, the teaching.

This last part is the most crucial – we will need a home. I have had discussions with schools and community leaders in several neighborhoods, but haven’t yet found the right place. If you know of a community or school where we can be of service, please let me know!

To those readers outside the Cincinnati area, we’ll need your help, too. When we have the pieces I’ve described in place (most likely this winter or early spring), we’ll begin a crowdfunding campaign to help us start the teaching program. I will post again about that when the time comes, along with updates about what else is happening – please stay tuned!

Till next time,




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