2011 Best Reads from the Savvy Musician

Successful artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators have the most interesting ideas. Not just because they’re somehow magically smarter or more creative. Part of the formula is that these individuals are voracious readers, impacted dramatically by the perspectives of thought leaders. They’re also experts at synthesizing information—taking something intended to address one situation and...

Darth Vader vs. the Jedi Cellos

Ok, ok, I admit it. I’m a complete Star Wars geek.  But even if you don’t know Chewbacca from Midi-Chlorian, this epic video by The Piano Guys is not to be missed.  You won’t be disappointed. Here’s what they have to say about it:             Long ago in a galaxy far, far away… We bring you CELLO WARS! A result of 6 months of production…our most ambitious...

Re-Imagining the Orchestra

You may be aware that the New World Symphony is America’s leading training orchestra, boasting top rate talent. And you may have heard about their breathtaking new hall in Miami Beach. But did you know that members of this group are daring to re-imagine the business model of orchestras from the bottom up? The fact that many American orchestras struggle to survive is no secret. In the past few years,...

No Need to be Nervous…

The next time you get nervous for a performance–whether soloing in Carnegie Hall or being put on the spot in a class–may be a sign that it’s time to get Fearless. This video, by the world-renowned horn player from Canadian Brass, Indiana University educator, Savvy Musician featured artist, and fearless performance coach Jeff Nelsen can help. In his talk at TEDxBloomington, Jeff freely...

Classical Music: Too Elitist or Not Enough?

I spend a good deal of time dreaming up bold and unconventional success solutions for the arts. While these proposals typically receive serious consideration from some corners, there are others who emotionally shoot them down immediately without any rational thought whatsoever. It seems the closer someone is to a position, the more threatening a fresh alternative can feel. Even if the current model is...

How to Sell New Music

They say some new music is too wierd for audiences. They say it could never sell. They say people only like the tunes they already know and love, written by good faithful Europeans centuries ago. Well, I say humbug. That all depends on presentation. In the right context, you can sell just about anything. Even crazy stuff by a nutty Hungarian like Ligeti. As prove, I offer the following video, featuring...

What Artists Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Today, as the world mourns the loss of visionary leader Steve Jobs—responsible for creating Apple, the Macintosh computer, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Pixar Animation Studios—is an ideal opportunity to reflect and grow as individuals.  Eric Jackson recently published an article in Forbes called The Top Ten Lesson Steve Jobs Can Teach Us—If We’ll Listen. Points below are taken from that publication,...

Building Your Portfolio Career Part 3: Doing the Math

This is part 3 on a series devoted to Portfolio Careers. Part 1 of this series examined the kinds of work streams that might be included in your portfolio career. Part 2 unveiled 21 incomes models that can be integrated. Now it’s time to do the math and determine your Portfolio Career Plan (PCP). As you’ll see, this process is quite logical. All you need is a pencil, paper, calculator, and a little...

Building Your Portfolio Career Part 2: The 21 Income Models

This is part 2 in a series devoted to Portfolio Careers. For Part 1: Imagining the Mix, click here.   If you have money to invest, any financial advisor worthy of their corner office will suggest you diversify the portfolio. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Include a variety of investment types so that if one tanks, others will soften the blow. This balanced approach allows...

American Orchestras: Endangered Species?

This panel discussion was hosted by New York City’s classical radio station WQXR on April 18, 2011, following the announcement that the Philadelphia Orchestra was declaring bankruptcy.               Panelists include: Anne Parsons, President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Eric Jacobsen, Co-Artistic Director of The...

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