Arts Leadership Spotlight: Musical Diplomacy

This guest post is from Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman, recipients of From the Top’s Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Award. It is the first of a series of updates about their project: Musical Diplomacy.

Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman

Hi everyone!
Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman here at New England Conservatory in Boston! We are both really interested in music and community projects centered on social issues. Last year we thought to ourselves: “Selves, how can we create an experience that grabs the listener and gets them thinking about music in a different way?” That’s when we came up with Musical Diplomacy an ongoing project bringing together leading policymakers, teachers, musicians, and concerned citizens for an inspiring evening of music and dialogue.

On May 14 in Boston we are hosting a “Concert and Discussion on Race and Culture in the Age of Obama” which will feature Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, the world-premieres of Jason Belcher’s (NEC BM ’10) Concerto for Improvisers and Orchestra and Caroline Park’s (NEC MM ’10) RADIO, and the Boston-premiere of Emmy-nominated composer and hip-hop classical fusion artist Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Symphony for the Dance Floor.

The concert will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: Pulitzer Prize-wining composer and former NEC President Gunther Schuller; Dr. Emmett Price, Chair of NEU’s African American Studies Department; Dr. Jean Wu, Senior Lecturer at Tufts University’s American Studies Program; composer Daniel Bernard Roumain; and Robert Gittens (moderator), NEU’s VP of Public Affairs and Boston Symphony board member. There will be a chance for audience members to ask questions at a reception immediately following the event.

We are both ecstatic to be working with From the Top and are honored to be recipients of their Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Award. While the fiscal support is nice, the professional and career advisement has been absolutely invaluable! We’ve also been very fortunate to have unwavering support from numerous faculty and staff at New England Conservatory as well as Tony DeRitis, chair of the Music Department at Northeastern University.

We both sincerely hope you will all be able to attend this exciting event on Friday May 14th! Admission is free but tickets are required as seating will be limited. Please contact the Northeastern University Ticket Center at 360 Huntington Avenue, 109 Ell Hall, (617) 373-4700.

In the meantime, check out our fundraising video!

Stay tuned for more updates.


Brian and Michael