Artistic Director, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
There are two organizations I work for: the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Marlboro Music Festival. My role with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (PCMS) is artistic director, and my role with Marlboro Music Festival is artistic administrator. So while I’m up in Vermont, Marlboro, for the summer festival, I assist two artistic directors, who are world-class musicians, in making decisions about the festival. When I’m in Philadelphia for the other 10 months of the year, I run the series with the team here.
The experience I had working with an academic advisor at Penn was life changing. The advisor that I saw was magical with me and she supported me in ways that helped me find my path.
I was a musician as a child and I thought, “Oh, I’ll go into a career in music.” And then I got to Penn and music was something that I liked, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it full-time. I started to spend my summers working at music festivals and I transitioned away from performing. I decided to become a music history and theory major in my sophomore year and I was like, well, what am I going to do with my music degree? What am I going to do with the experiences I’ve had working in New York City festivals?
The experience I had working with an academic advisor at Penn was life changing. The advisor that I saw was magical with me and she supported me in ways that helped me find my path. That was truly helpful in the Penn world in which a lot of kids were academically super-achievers.
I took the circuitous path to where I was going but by the time I ended up graduating from Penn, I had a job at the Marlboro Music Festival and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. When they hired me, I was working with eight other people, and I was the young kid on the block. I found an environment that really spoke to me. 24 years later I still love the idea of waking up early, going in and figuring out how I can create an environment for PCMS patrons and musicians that will be something memorable and positive and lasting.
When I started at PCMS, I wanted to see how we could do more to connect with a diverse population of Philadelphians. One of the hallmarks of the Chamber Music Society is that our prices are reasonable. We want to encourage people who can’t necessarily afford to attend a concert, to be able to experience PCMS and then be able to come back and join us for more concerts. I think in an art form that is always trying to expand its audience, that’s always trying to reach out and bring new people in, making sure that it’s affordable for people from all walks of life is crucial. It says something to people. — April 4, 2022 • Photo by Brooke Sietinsons