Music Academy of the West’s Classical Evolution/Revolution Conference

Posted on Jun 16 by SEASONS Magazine


From left to right: Clive Chang, Neda Ulaby, Chi-Chi Nwanoku, Chad Smith (top); Margo Drakos, Vijay Gupta, Jay Raman, Jorja Fleezanis (middle); Gillian Moore, Ted Hearne, Jeff M. Poulin, Chandrika Tandon (bottom). Courtesy Music Academy of the West.

From left to right: Clive Chang, Neda Ulaby, Chi-Chi Nwanoku, Chad Smith (top); Margo Drakos, Vijay Gupta, Jay Raman, Jorja Fleezanis (middle); Gillian Moore, Ted Hearne, Jeff M. Poulin, Chandrika Tandon (bottom). Courtesy Music Academy of the West. 

The Music Academy of the West presents its second annual Classical Evolution/Revolution Conference on June 22. Panels include speakers from U.S. Dept. of State, Disney, Sonos, NPR, Chineke!, National Sawdust, Americans For the Arts, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, London’s Southbank Centre and many more.

The conference attempts to engage creators, thinkers, CEOs, and media leaders to consider the arts as the cultural fabric of society. The conference addresses concerns such as the increased pressures created by today’s political climate, cultural activism, unconventional career paths, broadening access to the arts in underserved communities, and overhauling the outdated gender dynamics that have allowed the world of culture to become rife with abuses of power.

Conference attendees the conference will have the opportunity to participate, ask questions, and be inspired by five panel discussions that draw on the expertise of a distinguished roster of guest panelists and speakers. The conference, which is open to both professionals in the conference’s targeted fields are well as the general public builds on the success of last year’s inaugural conference.

The conference hosts a plethora of interesting guest speakers, including:

Brad Barrish, Director of Customer Care Experience at Sonos

Clive Chang, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Disney Theatrical Group

Shannon Connolly, Senior Vice President and General Manager of WQXR

Margo Drakos, former cellist, tech entrepreneur, and Founder of ArtistYear, a national service program developing engaged citizen-artists

Jorja Fleezanis, Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music

Vijay (Robert) Gupta, co-founder of the Street Symphony and a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Ted Hearne, composer and Associate Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music

Gillian Moore, Director of Music at London’s Southbank Centre

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, Founder and Artistic and Executive Director of Chineke!, the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority black and minority ethnic musicians

Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Manager of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit whose primary focus is advancing the arts in the U.S.

Paola Prestini, Composer, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of National Sawdust, the renowned Brooklyn music incubator and performing arts venue

Jay Raman, Director of the Cultural Programs Division at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Louise Shackelton, violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra

Peabody Southwell, director, designer and performer

Chad Smith, Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Artistic Director Designate of the Ojai Music Festival

Chandrika Tandon, Founder of Tandon Capital Associates, Inc. and Grammy-nominated tambura artist

Neda Ulaby, Arts Desk correspondent for National Public Radio

In addition to the guest speakers listed above, winners of the Academy’s inaugural Alumni Enterprise Awards will also be in attendance.

There will be panel discussions on Interpreting the Value of American Arts & Culture (9 a.m.), Tear Down the Walls! Access & Demand for Arts (10:30 a.m.), Art Sparks Action – Social Justice Through the Eyes of the Artist (1 p.m.), Gender & Power Dynamics in Music: A Long-Overdue Appraisal (2:30 p.m.), and The Road Less Traveled: Artist Entrepreneurs & Innovators (4 p.m.).

The conference is generously supported by lead sponsors Regina and Rick Roney and supporting sponsor Marcy Carsey. For more information and registration, click here.

Josh T. Meadows


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