21CMposium Sept. 9-11 places DePauw School of Music at center of national conversation

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For three days this fall, DePauw University will be a destination for world thought leaders and performers seeking answers to problems brought about by seismic global shifts in the rapidly changing music marketplace.

The 21CMposium, coordinated by Mark Rabideau, director of DePauw School of Music's 21st-Century Musician Initiative, will take place Sept. 9-11 in the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts at 605 S. College Ave., Greencastle.

Among the many experiences to be shared during the symposium will be presentations by visionary author Greg Sandow, TED-style talks by Mike Block (Silk Road Ensemble) and Judd Greenstein (New Amsterdam Records), and workshops by Decoda and Fifth House Ensemble.

The penultimate event, the 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 performance by the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet, will also open the 2016-17 Green Guest Artist Concert series and include a world premiere by composer Raven Chacon, commissioned for the ensemble's 50 for the Future project.

"Music is embraced, without boundaries, throughout every culture," Rabideau remarked. "An increasingly connected world provides influence and inspiration for opening our imaginations, as well as viral access to global audiences.

"Communities gather around music to celebrate shared moments and parents understand that music enhances their child's chances to succeed in life. Yet it has never been more of a struggle for musicians to make a living -- at least when following traditional paths."

Kronos Quartet

While dean of the School of Music from 2011 to 2016, DePauw President Mark McCoy began addressing how these persistent concerns impacted the profession's role in preparing emerging musicians for the future they were soon to inherit. His response was to develop the 21st-Century Musician Initiative (21CM), conceived as a complete re-imagining of how to prepare musicians within this shifting cultural landscape.

Led by McCoy, faculty and staff immediately began overhauling antiquated curricula, giving voice to the movement under way through 21CM.org and engaging the local community through such programs as Strings for Kids, Communiversity and an expanded Community Music Program -- all initiatives presented through Music on the Square, a new music venue christened last summer with a ribbon-cutting by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The experimental 21CM program enrolled its first class at DePauw in the fall of 2015. Twelve months later the music school is a leader in the national conversation and is ready to address a wider audience.

Ayden Adler, previously a member of the 21CM advisory board and now dean of the DePauw School of Music, expressed her enthusiasm for the event. "DePauw University's 21CMposium will provide forums for emerging musicians and seasoned professionals, music executives and university administrators to not only grapple with the challenges they face, but to find inspiration in contemporary educational and cultural frameworks."

An exciting element of the upcoming 21CMposium will be the LAUNCH: Emerging Artist Competition. After scouring the country for chamber ensembles that are proactively re-imagining the future of music -- embracing the entrepreneurial-mindset, bending and blending genres, connecting to audiences and strengthening communities they serve -- 21CM is poised to launch a glimpse of what the future can look like.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, five finalists will compete for a $10,000 contract, along with a trip to New York City, an additional recording contract and a performance at the famed multi-media art cabaret Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. Judges for the LAUNCH are: Chairman Peter Seymour (co-founder, PROJECT Trio); Judson Green (jazz pianist/composer and former NAVTEQ CEO); Judd Greenstein (founder, New Amsterdam Records); Justin Kantor (Le Poisson Rouge); Awadagin Pratt (pianist/arts advocate); Sarah Robinson (author, Clubbing for Classical Musicians); Kristina Boerger and Eliza Brown (DePauw University).

To join the conversation and register for 21CMposium, visit 21cmposium.21cm.org/conference-registration. All-access and one-day passes are both available. Admission to individual performances may also be purchased online here, including concerts by Decoda, DePauw's 2016-17 ensemble-in-residence (Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.), and the opening concert of the Green Guest Artist Series by the Kronos Quartet (Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m.).

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: