Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research

January 15, 2014


Artist-run ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Eighth Blackbird, and the International Contemporary Ensemble have demonstrated creative models for artistic growth and success. “Recognizing the success of such ensembles and addressing the changing professional music landscape, the center will offer new courses and grant opportunities for Eastman students and future plans include experiential learning opportunities such as a possible incubator for student-run ensembles. The Paul R. Judy Center will also sponsor a festival/conference for emerging ensembles and administrators in musical arts organizations and higher education institutions.”

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’s Orchestra Musician Forum and Polyphonic.org—has served in leadership capacities in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. After completing a bachelor’s degree and MBA at Harvard, Judy worked as a CEO in the investment banking sector, served as a director of number public and privately owned corporations, and established the Illinois Independent Higher Education loan Authority. A life-long supporter of classical music, Judy launched the Symphony Orchestra Institute in 1994 to research and improve the effectiveness of professional symphony orchestras. Judy continues to provide transformational support to the field of music through his commitment to establishing yet another branch of the IML at Eastman.

Click here to read Eastman’s press release about the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research.

To learn more about Paul Judy and the Center for Applied Research, click here.

Thoughts from Paul Judy:

On the challenges and opportunities in the current musical climate…

“As a former board chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and current Chairman of the Chicago Philharmonic Society, and as someone who has followed and supported major musical organizations for a long time, I am greatly concerned about the news of orchestra bankruptcies and financial difficulties. Unfortunately, these developments are not surprising given the limitations of the traditional orchestra organization model. I see great hope in the entrepreneurial spirit of the musicians who are taking it upon themselves to energize our culture with their own new groups, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to their continued growth through this gift to Eastman.”

Excerpts below from Alternative Ensembles: A Study of Emerging Musical Arts Organizations (PDF), an initial study conducted by Paul Judy and Eastman graduate student Emily Wozniak:

On emerging ensembles…

Emerging artist-run ensemble, encompass a group of musicians absolutely dedicated to their personal craft, to the artistry of the ensemble, to the discovery and performance of new music often generated by their own commissioning, and ultimately, to the engagement of a growing audience base and an expanding brand recognition. This blend of characteristics seems to foster creativity and produce especially vibrant concert experiences: music-making is infused with an electric energy, multiple art forms are being explored to enhance the presentation of music, and groups are taking an adventurous approach to creating new works and unique performances. There is an enthusiasm and cohesiveness in these ensembles that is not generally found in larger musical arts organizations.”

On areas for future research…

“Experts in organizational dynamics might find it of interest to study some of these organizations in greater depth over a longer period of time. A further path for research is to learn more about the audiences these ensembles are attracting and serving—directly in their self-produced concerts and indirectly through university and college residencies. An additional path of research related to audience research would be to explore the musical programming of these and other similar ensembles. Finally, these ensembles would benefit from a comparative analysis of their financial operations—along with some forecasting and projections—to better understand their sustainability and what needs to be done to assure their longer-term success and the economic needs of their members.”

Read the full study (PDF)