What gives a music school life? What makes one music school particularly special, unique, or interesting?
What makes a school a place to achieve dreams?
When looking at the quality of a music school, rarely should we ever consider, as a 1st and foremost consideration, what hot city the school is in, what awesomely impressive facility the recording studio is housed in, the quality of the food in the music school’s cafeteria.
Rather, we should look at the first most absolutely important criterion – the school’s people. This primarily includes faculty as well as students.
The landscape and personalities of music schools are constantly changing; new faculty, students, staff, Deans, and guest personalities consistently move in and move out of an institution.
As we look back on the last year, we can look at a number of music schools or programs who have hired a major faculty member at their school. The summoning and hiring of these professors is designed for one greater goal in mind; to aid an institution in its ever-growing desire to install true change.
The following 10 people, new hires in 2017-2018 who have either already started or are starting soon, will play their own part in shaping the music of the next generation through their teaching.
Boston University School of Music – Bramwell Tovey
Bramwell Tovey, who just started his appointment in September of 2017, is something of a conducting legend in the world of classical music. A Grammy-winning conductor, he has been the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for nearly a decade. He is additionally a JUNO award winning composer and a pianist who has soloed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
If classical music had a class of triple-threat stars of success in conducting, composing, performing, Bramwell would be right up there with the likes of Andre Previn and Leonard Bernstein.
One thing is certain; his appointment to the BU School of Music is going to change the lives of the orchestral musicians at this school for the better. Why is that? Finding a school in which you can associate yourself with the best at their positions is only a positive for you in your future.
Harvard University – Claire Chase
I don’t tend to profile Harvard much on this site, as their undergraduate music program, while it has some incredible musicians, is smaller than other programs in terms of its allotted credit hours towards music classes as well as its selection of majors.
That said, their hiring of Claire Chase is a phenomenal and much-needed addition to their staff.
Claire is something of an innovator in the world of music; she is perhaps the most sought-after contemporary flautist, having commissioned dozens of pieces for the instrument and premiering 100+.
She is also an incredible role model for Harvard’s music students as an entrepreneur, having started her own ensemble ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) at just the age of 23 in 2001; it is still widely regarded as a premiere new music ensemble.
In 2012, she was awarded the MacArthur fellowship prize, an award of over half-million given to creatives and intellectuals innovating their artistic worlds. It is so prestigious and exclusive, winners are chosen by a committee without an individual’s application.
She is one of the leading personalities in classical music today, and her appointment at Harvard speaks volumes about the school’s intentions in bolstering its music curriculum.