Generosity In Hand: The Generous Hands Project

This Thursday will mark the 395th anniversary of the very first Thanksgiving dinner. Over these long years, many a tradition has come and gone, yet the celebration of  Thanksgiving has continued, and unified our country.

 No matter a person’s creed or color,  Thanksgiving symbolizes something that all of us can relate to; for we all have something to be thankful for.

Each of has people in our lives that have given their time, money, wisdom, and love to us. This holiday gives us the chance to express gratitude for what we have been given, and that is what we must do.

Sometimes we forget, that thankfulness and generosity go hand in hand.

Thanksgiving is a day not only to celebrate the generosity of friends, family and strangers who have gone out of their way to enrich our lives, it is also a time to extend the same generosity we have received, sending the warmth of love towards the hearts of others.

In 2013, photographer and Pastor Sean Bendigo took a series of powerful and inspiring photographs. He invited congregants of Madison Church and members of the local community to share with him expressions of what they were grateful for. He then photographed their open hands. Hands that are open not only to receive, but also to give. They symbolize the gratitude we hold so deeply, and must show as well as be thankful for. He called this collection The Generous Hands Project. Throughout this week, we will share these photographs with you, in hopes that they will inspire you to share.

To make sure that you receive the entirety of this wonderful collection, as well other inspirational writings and images, be sure to visit inspiritedliving.com/join and sign up for our daily footcandles.

Have a joyous Thanksgiving, and remember to give as much as love as you receive.

 

Ardmore’s ‘The Great Zambezi’

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg2016 saw a landmark event for Ardmore as Hermès, Paris launched our designed silk scarfs. This is the first time a South African design has been used by Hermès and we view it as an incredible honour. To commemorate this event, we are creating major works to parallel the theme of ‘La Marche du Zambèze’. The collection is dedicated to Fée’s homeland, Zimbabwe, where the Great Zambezi River forms its northern borders. View these magnificent artworks at Patrick Mavros, 104 – 106 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6HS, from Wednesday, May 18 to Sunday, May 29.

If you are interested in any of these pieces, click here!

New York Youth Symphony

New York Youth Symphony

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, the New York Youth Symphony is the most awarded youth program of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, tuition-free educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians, ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz. Through its commissioning program, First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 100 works from young composers since 1984.

Orchestra
Under the direction of Joshua Gersen, the 110+ person ensemble is recognized as one of the finest youth orchestras in the nation. With its sophisticated programming, performances in one of the world’s greatest concert halls, superb musical leadership, new works commissioned of the nation’s best young composers, outstanding soloists, and professional-level attitude, the ensemble continues to grow and thrive with each new season. “The New York Youth Symphony…often gets compared to professional orchestras, and one can hear why. Its music making is alive and full; its players are thoroughly prepared and very able…they have a freshness and a drive that seasoned ensembles are going to rediscover only very occasionally.” —The New York Times

Chamber Music
The Chamber Music Program is an excellent opportunity for players to enhance their musical abilities, improve their performance confidence, and develop interpersonal skills within small group settings. The program welcomes 80-90 players of all levels and makes every effort to place individual players into ensembles with whom they may feel most comfortable; pre-formed groups are also encouraged to apply. Groups are coached by professionals from throughout the city as well as by members of the Shanghai, Juilliard, and Orion quartets.

“The Chamber Music Program of the New York Youth Symphony has established itself as one of the most well-respected ensemble music training programs in the country…

[The program] provides a range of opportunities to study, perform, and rehearse in a context that balances structure with flexibility, guidance and independence, and discipline with inspiration.” —Chamber Music America magazine

Jazz
The New York Youth Symphony’s Jazz Band, under the direction of Matt Holman, is a 17-member ensemble dedicated to studying, rehearsing, and performing classic big band jazz music. Modeled on the bands of the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Jazz program preserves this heritage and, keeping with jazz traditions, incorporates it into the current and emerging styles that define the genre for the present generation. Now in its 11th season, students from the Jazz program have been fortunate to perform with featured soloists including Joe Lovano, Scott Wendholt, Suzanne Morrison, Steve Turre, Warren Vaché,
Victor Goines, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Joe Locke, Eric Reed, Lew Soloff, Gary Smulyan and Frank Wess, giving students a chance to play alongside today’s most exciting professional musicians.

Composition
The New York Youth Symphony’s Composition Program, formerly known as “Making Score,” is the first series of workshops in the country for young musicians to explore the world of composition and orchestration. The program includes workshops exploring the musical thought of a wide variety of composers, with a focus on instrumentation and orchestration. In addition to study, students compose new works for various ensembles, including chamber ensembles, jazz orchestra, and chamber orchestra, which are performed by student ensembles.

Apprentice Conducting Program
“The orchestra has been a training ground for conductors who have gone on to bigger things.” -The New York Times

The world’s finest emerging conductors have found the Symphony’s podium to be an unparalleled opportunity to sharpen their craft, develop their talent, and gain exposure in front of New York’s discerning audiences. The Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conductor Program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, and observation, under the guidance of the NYYS Music Director and Assistant Conductor.

First Music
“The most impressive record for championing new music of any ensemble in the United States.” -The New York Times

First Music, the New York Youth Symphony’s young composer competition, commissions America’s best emerging orchestra, chamber music, and jazz composers under age 30. Initiated in 1984, it has been acknowledged widely as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention.

“During the last two decades, no youth orchestra in the country has been more relentlessly committed to generating new music than the New York Youth Symphony.” -Symphony Magazine

First Music has awarded commissions over 100 of America’s best young composers since 1984. The winner of numerous awards and accolades, this ongoing project introduces traditional audiences, as well as the musicians themselves, to new trends in music. Three awards are given seasonally for orchestral and jazz compositions and one for chamber music.

Visit the New York Youth Symphony

By |December 24th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |0 Comments

Fée Halsted

Ardmore CeramicsFée Halsted

Painter

Fée was born in 1958 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In the early 70s she travelled south to study at Natal University, Pitermaritzburg for a BA Fine Arts degree. This was followed by a two-year postgraduate course in ceramics. She then lectured for a short time at the Durban Technikon but soon found herself married and living on the farm Ardmore in the Champagne Valley of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, with her husband, James, in 1985.

Fée’s first student was Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the daughter of a farm employee. Bonnie’s natural aptitude for ceramic art soon attracted other members of Bonnie’s family who asked if they too could learn from Fèe. This led to the creation of Ardmore, the largest ceramic art studio in South Africa. Bonnie became known as one of South Africa’s leading ceramic artists, while Ardmore’s exciting diversity of ceramic art has been endorsed by Christie’s, London as ‘modern collectables’.

Fee - ArdmoreFée’s merging of western ceramics technology with African art is only part of the story of Ardmore. Of even more significance has been her encouragement of their imagination based on nature, Zulu folklore and tradition. Fée has been described as ‘a creator of artists.’ As well as giving so much of her artistic ability to her creative team, Fée has won numerous art awards, including the Standard Bank young Artist’s Award which she jointly in 1990 with Bonnie Ntshalintshali. She was awarded the Women’s Campaign international for empowering women and was one of five people honoured at the Metropolitan club in New York in 2010.
The large group of sculptors and painters who produce ceramics under the Ardmore label amply demonstrate the diversity of talents that has emerged under Fée’s tuition. As she says:

‘The Zulu people have a wonderful sense of colour and rhythm and a gift for design and balance, all they needed was opportunity.’

Shop Ardmore

By |November 12th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Fée Halsted

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

Sculptor

“I guess there’s something to be said for being young and impulsive and more than a little bit crazy.” -Dale Chihuly

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.

In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.

His work is included in more than 200 hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including eleven honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, Chihuly received an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Visit Dale Chihuly

By |October 12th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Dale Chihuly

Tracy Robertson

Tracy Robertson

Tracy Robertson

Photographer

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams

Photography, oddly enough is not the reason I am a photographer. I did not start taking pictures as a child, nor hold my first camera when I was 3. I am however, an artist, and as an artist I have chosen to use my camera to satisfy my curiosity for the world and all that I love about it.

Those who have worked with horses will know that each moment you spend in their presence only fuels your passion, respect and absolute appreciation for them. I am not only privileged to work with these wonderful beings every day, but blessed to live in South Africa, where the landscapes are as unique and diverse as my subjects, allowing me to create work that is constantly changing and reinventing itself.

“With her keen eye and artistic approach, Tracy Robertson has broadened our horizons when it comes to equestrian photography in South Africa. She certainly has a unique style and knows how to make a horse look his best!” – J. Theron, Editor HQ (SA’s Leading Equestrian Magazine)

Visit Tracy Robertson Photography

By |August 12th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Tracy Robertson

Peter Ferry

Peter_Ferry_Photo1Peter Ferry

Percussion Soloist

Celebrated by The Democrat and Chronicle as “an artist of vision” and a “percussion genius… presenting percussion in a stunning, thoughtful way,” Peter Ferry

[b. 1991] is a young American solo percussionist advancing the classical and contemporary repertoire.

Ferry also has a passion for multimedia performance, collaborating with artists of other disciplines to deepen the concert experience. His multimedia performance at the Rochester Fringe Festival was reviewed as “breathtaking… all that such festivals are supposed to be: funny, boundary-pushing, thought-provoking.”

In 2013, Ferry received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from his alma mater, the Eastman School of Music, recognizing “outstanding performing ability.”

You can listen to a sample of Peter Ferry’s music below.

Vibraphone Concerto mvmt I – Composed by Emmanuel Séjourné – Played by Peter Ferry

By |July 24th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Peter Ferry

Christine Toy Johnson

Christine Toy Johnson

Becoming a Role Model for Asian-Americans: Interview with Broadway actress Christine Toy Johnson

by Julien Touafek

Broadway actress Christine Toy Johnson has become the role model she never had growing up as an Asian-American aspiring towards a career in the performing arts. Born and bred in the suburbs of New York City, Christine was a performer from an early age. She began modeling when she was four for national campaigns such as Buster Brown, Life Cereal and Scotchguard. She got her Equity card the summer she graduated from high school, playing “Liat” in a production of SOUTH PACIFIC, later attending the University of Southern California School of Music for Vocal Performance, graduating from Sarah Lawrence College and much later the Screenwriting Program at NYU. She has appeared extensively on stage, in film and television. Broadway, National Tour and Off-Broadway credits include the revivals of THE MUSIC MAN (“Ethel Toffelmier”), GREASE (“Patty”), FLOWER DRUM SONG (“Rita Liang”), MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (cast album), PACIFIC OVERTURES, and CATS (“Sillabub”). Nearly 100 film and television credits include 666 PARK AVENUE, 30 ROCK, UGLY BETTY, LAW AND ORDERS: SVU, and AS THE WORLD TURNS. An avid anti-discrimination advocate, her recent awards include: placing as a semifinalist for the Ford Foundations “Leadership for a Changing World” Award in 2001, the 2012 Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts, in 2010 the Japanese-American Citizen’s League award for “exemplary dedication and leadership”, and in 2013 the Rosetta Lenoire Award for “outstanding contributions to diversity in the arts” from Actors’ Equity Association. She is on the board of the Tony Award honored Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, serves as a nationally elected Councilor of Actors’ Equity and is co-chair of their Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Also an award-winning screenwriter, she has written 11 plays and a collection of her written work was included in the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. Her award-winning documentary film, TRANSCENDING THE WAT MISAKA STORY, has been recognized internationally at film festivals, in the media (including the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and the International Herald Tribune), and by President Obama himself. She talked about her path as an artist, her work as an advocate for equality, and the remarkable stories that have shaped her career.

Julien Touafek: With all your involvements in various advocacy groups (Actor’ Equity, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, etc.), at what point in your career did you decide to be involved in advocating for Asian-Americans and bridging this gap that you identified?

Christine Toy Johnson: You know, it sort of evolved because I started working as a very young person. What’s interesting to me when I reflect about it as that I grew up in the suburbs of Manhattan going to Broadway shows, and never wanted to do anything but be in a Broadway show. I was a child model. I started doing shows in Kindergarten. I did shows for my parents’ guests. And then started doing community theatre and then professional work when I was still in high school. And when I reflect upon it I kind of don’t know how I thought it was possible because there really weren’t a lot of Asian-American role models. But it didn’t seem to enter my mind. So I kept studying, and I was a dancer, I always just kept dreaming of being in a Broadway show. And then when I got out of college and started working in earnest to make a living, I started seeing right away that I wasn’t fitting the stereotypes. But it still didn’t really hit me until I started breaking the stereotypes. There was a lot talk at the time, which would have been 1990, about the “Miss Saigon” production when they hired Jonathan Pryce to play the engineer and he, basically, wore yellow face in the London production, and that was a very big turning point for the Asian-American community about authenticity; Asian-American people playing Asian-American roles in the theatre which was a very big controversy. And, I recall, when they were bringing Jonathan Pryce over from London to do the show in New York, Actors’ Equity at first refused the rights to bring him in. And so he canceled the production. Whether it was a bluff or not, who knows. Anyway, they worked it out. Jonathan Pryce came over, won a TONY award, but it still was a very big deal. And it ran for ten years. But ever since then, every engineer after that

[Jonathan Price’s role] was played by an Asian-American actor. So, that was a big moment in the community.

Shortly after that is when I started getting involved on the Council at Equity as part of the elected leadership and also I started doing some non-traditional cast roles, like Julie in Carousel. And I started feeling like I wanted to shine a light on them because it was showing something positive that was happening. And so I think that’s when I started to think about speaking up in terms of advocacy on a positive note, and once I started to do more traditionally non-cast roles the more I realized it was something that was difficult to get and needed to be talked about.

JT: You mentioned that, as a young person, you didn’t have any Asian-American role models. Where did it come from that you decided having a career in the performing arts as an Asian-American was even possible?

CTJ: Well, I think it was just because I loved it. And my parents never said that I couldn’t do anything. They never put up any obstacle to anything in my whole life. So, I think I grew up in this environment where I was like: “Yeah, I love that. I’m going to go do that.” Now, to be fair, there was Baayork Lee, who’s been a friend ever since, or knew that we had a gap in time where we didn’t see each other, but she was the original Connie in “A Chorus Line”. So, she was out there and she was dancing since she was five years old, but she wasn’t doing, necessarily, the stuff that I identified with. When I saw “A Chorus Line” I wanted to be Cassie. [We both laugh.]

JT: So, when you did get out and were auditioning, were there any circumstances at the start of your career that kept you from getting roles or auditions?

CTJ: For a long time I wasn’t even seen for anything. I wouldn’t even get in the room. As a matter of fact, my younger friends now are seen at auditions as a matter of course – which is awesome. But back in those days, I had just switched agents in ’91, and when my new agent called me to tell me that I had an audition for Julie in “Carousel” at the Hangar Theatre, I really was surprised. I really said: “Wait, I actually have an appointment. And they’re really going to see me? They’re going let me audition for it?” And so I remember going, feeling a little ashamed because I thought the other women there would look at me like: “What is she doing here?” And I get in the room and people didn’t go running, screaming from the theatre. It was actually a really well received production. Then what happens is, I think, people feel that they have permission to cast that way. Someone once referred to me as the “poster child for non-traditional casting”, and so I did all these Soprano roles all over the country. And, I think, like I said, once someone says: “Oh, you did that. I can hire you for this.” And so I started to feel like the more I was speaking up about it in a positive way, that was my style of advocacy. My advocacy has evolved over time through experience and necessity, but I think at the time I identified this ability to talk to people about the positive aspects of it; at the good things that would happen if non-traditional casting had happened, if there were more inclusion, if we were reflecting society more as it really is. And less on the militant, victimized, “we’ve been wronged” point of view; which has a place, too, but is not my style.

JT: What do you think you bring to the stage in a non-traditionally cast production that an audience member wouldn’t see in a traditionally cast show?

CTJ: I always feel that, to me, the arts have this opportunity to get people to think about things, maybe, in a different way – by seeing a play, or hearing a song – that puts a human face on a set of circumstance, and opens up your mind to different cultures and different ways of thinking. It’s part of being an artist and a writer. You’re trying to empathize and understand the human condition: What makes a person do what they do? And I think that’s what a non-traditionally cast show offers is, really, reflecting society and the world as it is today.

JT: I think this is a good segue for you to talk about your documentary film that you produced with your husband, award-winning filmmaker Bruce Johnson, TRANSCENDING – THE WAT MISAKA STORY, and specifically, how you came to this story and how have you been changed and inspired by seeing this story told?

CTJ: Well, Wat Misaka is 89 years old now. He lives in Salt Lake City. He was the first non-Caucasian person to play pro-basketball in the 1947 Knicks, three years before the first African Americans played. He was a big college star for the University of Utah in ’44 and ’47, which is really significant when you think about the time. We were in the middle of WWII. They won the NCAA in ’44 and then the NIT in ’47. In between he went off to serve in the Army. So, that’s sort of the nugget of the story.

I was helping produce and sing in a concert for some friends of an organization in San Francisco called the Japanese Culture and Community Center of Northern California. So, I was helping produce these concerts called “Asian-Americans on Broadway”. And we were in the Executive Director’s office printing out our boarding passes to go home and my husband noticed this photograph of an Asia-American basketball player, and you could tell that it was from a different period, because of the dress, and so he started asking questions. I had just written a sports screenplay, and Bruce, my husband, says to me: “Would you be interested in writing another sports screenplay?” And I say: “Well, I don’t know.” I had just finished this one and, you know, and he says: “Paul has just told me this story about this guy Wat Misaka.” And so I’m intrigued. Why haven’t we ever heard of him? That’s a pretty big barrier to break. And so I went home and started researching him, and I decided I needed to tell this story.

So, I started talking to some people and they said, you know, you should do an oral history. And so once we realized that we were going out there to interview him, we decided to just make it a documentary. And from there the circles just kept getting bigger. We had our first screening in 2008 in Salt lake City, it was an official selection for the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2009, we won award for direction from the Roving Eye Documentary Film Festival, Sports Illustrated helped us get a profile of Wat in the Basketball Hall of Fame, every major sports publication had featured Wat, the Knicks honored him center court in 2009 at Madison Square Garden, President Obama invited Wat to a ceremony at the White House and mentioned him in his speech.

And, you know, it really means a lot to me to acknowledge people when they do something great. And it was really bothering me – in the biggest sense of the word – that this man was not recognized for breaking his barriers. He was sort of reduced to a footnote in some books. He did not last long in the Knicks, and that’s probably a large part of the reason that he was reduced to a footnote. But I still felt like this is significant, and it was a barrier that was broken and we needed to do something about it. We did a screening of the film in Sacramento, and when I saw these little kids lining up to get his autograph, I just thought: this is a seminal point in my life, because something that Bruce and I really believed in, we worked our butts off to make it happen on a wing and a prayer basically, is having this impact; it’s bringing this man to the forefront in our community, and I’m not even Japanese-American, but there’s something about the shared Asian-American experience of having to overcome obstacles that every immigrant community has had. I just felt that this is so important that we brought the story out and these kids are seeing what’s possible for them. And I turn to Bruce and say: “If nothing else happens with this film, this is why we did this. This man now sees that his legacy is present for all people to see. And to have him know that: You did something that is meaningful and will last forever, because you broke that barrier.”

JT: You often tell people to “go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated”. How do you maintain your positivity and vision in all your work?

CTJ: I think part of it is the idea of surrounding yourself with people who are positive as well. See that’s part of it. Because, you know, we all have these hopes and dreams and goals, and if you’re in the right environment you can be put down pretty quickly, and you can lose faith pretty easily. So I think part of it is surrounding yourself with people who are as eager as you are to dwell in possibility. That’s another thing that I love to say. Because, really, the truth is, and I’m not a Pollyanna, but I think part of the good thing about being older and being in this business for so long is that I’ve had a lot of disappointments and I’ve noticed how easy it could be to just give up. You reach many forks in the road at any given time and you can choose to go down the path of self sabotage and losing faith in yourself and your ability to make something happen, or you can go the other way and try to explore and maximize your potential. I’m always thinking about that, too – and figure out what’s possible. And that has been tempered with a lot, a lot, a lot of disappointment and still believing that I have something to say. And trying to find new ways to say it all the time.

Someone asked me in an interview recently, when I was doing Dolly: “You know you’re a writer, you’re an actor, you’re blah, blah, blah, so what would you call yourself, and don’t say you’re everything.” And I said: “I’m a storyteller”. And whether that’s through my acting, my writing, my singing, my directing, my producing, or whatever, I think that trying to surround myself with the kind of energy that nurtures that vision for possibility is what’s at the root of that saying. It came from one of my first screenwriting teachers, and it really hit me because you really could go and dwell in these places where people are like: “Oh yeah, you’re alright.” But why would you do that? Why are you doing that? There’s always that question, you know, in the arts especially: Why would you put yourself through the hardship that you do? And the answer is because you have to, because there’s nothing more satisfying than having a creative response to a problem. I’ll say that. You might not be able to fix everything but if you can have a creative response then it’s going to make life a lot better. For you and other people.

JT: Hearing about all your accomplishments and the path that you’ve forged, it seems to me that you’ve become the Asian-American role model you lacked as a child. How does that feel, and do you have a message for those young people that look at you and are inspired?

CTJ: The only reason I’m not completely embarrassed by that question is that I have been hearing that more and more lately from young people who come up to me and say: “Now I feel like I can do it.” And, you know, it’s amazing. And I hope they can. And I usually tell people to just keep being open to possibility and to make sure you’re up for the challenge. So, to me that means a lot of different things; it means working as hard as you possibly can to not only be the best artist you can be but to be the best person you can be. So, stay open to other points of view and have a life and enjoy it and enrich yourself by looking around. And don’t take “no” for an answer, because I think that’s really easy for any of us to do that. And you can’t let all the negative stuff squash you.

So, I guess I tell people that if you really have a passion to do this and to express yourself through art, you have to find a way to do it. And it probably will look different than you once imagined it would. All of my dreams that have come true so far have not looked like what I imagined when I was that little girl watching the TONY awards from my parents’ living room. And that’s actually kind of great, because that means there were things that I didn’t even imagine. And to try to stay present. It’s really hard these days. We can be a million other places instead of doing this. [Pointing to us talking.] Or, looking outside and saying: “Oh, the air smells like this today,” or “that does this to me.” To really stay present and take it all in.

By |July 12th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Christine Toy Johnson

Julien Touafek

Julien Touafek

Student, New York Youth Symphony

Composer/vocalist/violinist/writer Julien Touafek fuses diverse musical and artistic aesthetics with a 21st century sense of entrepreneurship to communicate, innovate, and inspire creativity as a means to success.

He has composed pieces mostly recently for Juilliard’s PUFF! Wind Quintet, Harpist Bridget Kibbey, New York Youth Symphony’s Jazz Band Classic and Chamber Orchestra, the Indaco Quartet, Violinist Alexey Shabalin, and Soprano Janani Sridhar. He was a fellow with the Composition Program of New York Youth Symphony for two seasons from 2011-2013. He is a member of the highSCORE New Music Center (Pavia, Italy) and has studied at the European American Music Alliance in Paris, France. His music has been performed in venues including: the Tank, the Wild Project, Symphony Space, Manhattan School of Music, Stony Brook University, and the highSCORE New Music Festival.

He is a member of the TONY-honored BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has written numerous works for the stage, in addition to those for solo voice. His musical, Land of the Setting Sun, received a staged reading in New York City at the Between the Seas Festival in August 2011.

Julien is also the Founder of Providence Premieres, the only new music initiative located in Providence, RI dedicated to premiering the music of young composers. As Artistic and Producing Director Julien launched the first 2012-13 Season with a concert of all new works premiered by members of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. The 2013-14 Season will include the commissioning new works in addition to the launch of a year-long Composition Program for high school students; the first program of its kind in Rhode Island.

In addition to writing and performing, Julien consults on creative strategies for individuals, businesses and non-profits; including self-promotion for artists, website/logo design, rebranding and innovating.

Other festivals include: Oberlin Conservatory’s “Oberlin in Italy” Emerging Artist Opera program, workshop participant in the Southampton Writers Conference, New England Conservatory’s Festival Youth Orchestra, and a tour of Ireland’s Cathedrals with the Archdiocese of Boston. Julien graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Music where he studied with Peter Winkler, Sheila Silver, Lewis Wong and Randall Scarlata. He is a member of the American Composers Forum and The Dramatist Guild of America.

Songs by Julien: listen here

Chamber Orchestra piece with the New York Youth Symphony: listen here

By |June 12th, 2015|Categories: Inspiriting Arts|Tags: |Comments Off on Julien Touafek