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The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester is pleased to announce the next stage in the evolution of its Institute for Music Leadership (IML): Noted philanthropist Paul Judy—chairman of the Chicago Philharmonic Society, life trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), former president of the CSO board, and founder of Eastman School of Music’s Orchestra Musician Forum and its online resource center Polyphonic.org—has made a $1 million commitment to establish the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research at Eastman. The Paul R. Judy Center will be a new component of the IML that will be devoted to understanding and stimulating the development of innovative ensemble models that can find success in the changing music world. Click here to read a complete press release from the Eastman School.

The Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research, as part of the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership, is dedicated to fostering scholarship about our rapidly changing musical world, as well as to helping musicians respond to the changes so that they can become self-sufficient. These activities are sorely needed now, at a time when the recent decline of American orchestras—and the emergence of alternative ensembles—has profoundly changed the institutional landscape of music.

What the Paul R. Judy Center Will Offer

The Paul R. Judy Center will encourage scholars to engage in a new field of research, one that focuses on alternative ensembles, their business models, and their impact on contemporary culture. This is an underrepresented area in music studies that can yield cross-disciplinary results valuable to addressing the real-world problems our musicians face today.

This research will provide the basis for new courses and experiential learning opportunities for young musicians. Finally, and most importantly, the Paul R. Judy Center will serve as an incubator for emergent alternative ensembles.

In addition, the Paul R. Judy Center will sponsor a biennial festival and conference for scholars, orchestra managers, ensemble administrators, music school leaders, and students that will offer discussions, presentations, and performances. The inaugural festival and conference is scheduled for early 2015.

Alternative Ensembles: A Study of Emerging Musical Arts Organizations

In an effort to analyze viable models for successful classical music ensembles, Paul Judy, founder of the Symphony Orchestra Institute and chairman of The Chicago Philharmonic Society, and Emily Wozniak, an Eastman School of Music graduate student, conducted a study of a select group of cooperating professional organizations that appear to be pursuing non-traditional music-making paths and organizational practices. The study was undertaken to better understand what makes these organizations thrive and specifically what they are doing similarly and differently to spur such apparently positive artistic and financial growth and job satisfaction for the performing members. The study then speculates as to how the patterns exhibited by the alternative ensembles might apply to larger-scale music ensembles and organizations.

Click here to read the study.