Bill Cahn has been a member of the NEXUS percussion group since 1971, and was Principal Percussionist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968 to 1995. He is an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music and a visiting artist in residence at the Showa Academy of Music in Kawasaki, Japan. He has conducted his own programs with symphony orchestras, and his compositions for solo percussion, percussion ensemble and percussion with orchestra/band are widely performed. In 2006 he received a Grammy Award as a member of of the Paul Winter Consort on the DVD titled, “2004 Solstice Concert”.
Douglas Dempster is Dean of the College of Fine Arts, University of Texas. During the preceding five years, he served as the Senior Associate Dean—academic dean and chief operating officer—of the College. The College of Fine Arts is a leading public, comprehensive and professional college of fine arts that includes professional training programs and liberal arts concentrations in Theatre and Dance, Music, and Art and Art History, in addition to being home to a major art collection, the Blanton Museum of Art, and Austin’s major performing arts presenter, the UT Performing Arts Center.
He is the Marie and Joseph D. Jamail Senior Regents Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of Theater and Dance. He teaches a variety of courses ranging from the history of dramatic theory to cultural policy studies.
He was formerly 18 years on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, holding faculty appointments in Humanities, Music Theory, Musicology, and in the Philosophy Department of the University of Rochester and serving in a variety of positions including associate director and dean of academic affairs.
He is author of a wide variety of published work in philosophical aesthetics, music theory, cultural policy studies, and the philosophy of language.
Performer, educator and producer, Bill Williams has most recently served as Dean of Musicians at the New World Symphony, a postgraduate orchestral academy founded by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Since its inception, the New World Symphony has served as a training ground for outstanding graduates hailing from leading conservatories and schools of music in the US and abroad. As Dean of Musicians at the NWS, Bill was responsible for the design and implementation of New World Symphony’s professional development programs for its 87 orchestral fellows, providing musical, pedagogical and career guidance to prepare NWS Fellows for leadership roles within the orchestral profession.
A classically trained trumpeter, he has been a featured as principal trumpet and soloist in major orchestras and festivals throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Prior to his engagement as SVP and Dean of Musicians at the New World Symphony, he performed and recorded with the San Francisco Symphony from 2004-2008. His playing can be heard on a number of the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Mahler Symphony recordings, and he can be seen as well as heard on the San Francisco Symphony/PBS “Keeping Score” series. Prior to his role in San Francisco, Bill served as the Solo Trumpet of the Berner Symphonieorchester (Switzerland), the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and numerous other North American orchestras. He is also an active chamber musician, having collaborated with groups including the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto) and the Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, Germany.
In addition to his performing activities, Bill has focused his career on improving musicians’ lives as performers and learners. He has collaborated with leading sport psychologist Dr. Don Greene, training musicians in the use of techniques to combat performance anxiety and to help them improve their skills of concentration at institutions including the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music and the Curtis Institute.
He has long been involved in the use of technology to transcend boundaries to connect people and ideas. An active producer/collaborator, he has also served as Artistic Coordinator for the YouTube Symphony, working with YTSO Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Google/YouTube to create the world’s first orchestra sourced from online video submissions. In his role as Artistic Coordinator at the YTSO, Bill participated in the development and execution of a variety of YTSO artistic and production elements. As Dean of Musicians at the NWS, Bill initiated collaborative relationships with institutions including the Parsons School of Design and the MIT Media Lab.
Bill is the recipient of the Bachelor of Music Degree (with the Performer’s Certificate) from the Eastman School of Music and the Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the New School for Social Research.
Tony Woodcock became president of New England Conservatory in June 2007. Since taking over at NEC, he has overseen the enormously successful visit to Boston by the Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with its sold-out concert at Symphony Hall and residency at NEC. He also initiated a new Strategic Planning Process and has presided over the final year of the $100 million Gift of Music capital campaign set to conclude successfully in June. He is currently in the process of reshaping the NEC orchestral program to make it one of the signature assets of the Conservatory and in February announced the appointment of renowned conductor Hugh Wolff as Director of Orchestras.
Trained as a violinist, he previously pursued a career as an orchestra manager, becoming known as an orchestra “doctor” after accomplishing the turnaround of several symphonic ensembles in both the UK and US. Most recently president of the Minnesota Orchestra, Woodcock switched gears to take his first higher education post with the NEC presidency.
Born in Egypt, he grew up in the Middle East, England, and Wales, where he studied music at University College, Cardiff. After several positions with regional music promoters, he led the City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox Singers, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He came to the United States in 1998 to head the Oregon Symphony, moving to the Minneapolis post five years later.