A two-day summit of influential artists and arts leaders discussing critical issues facing the global arts community
Hosted by Michael M. Kaiser
Arts organizations and administrators around the world today are faced with many challenges, but fortunately there are industry leaders who are using creative strategies and innovative thinking to forge a new era in the arts. On February 1 & 2, 2014 the Kennedy Center, in association with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, presents the 2014 Kennedy Center International Arts Leaders Forum, an intensive weekend program for artists, arts managers, and board members to share ideas and discuss solutions to some of the big issues confronting the arts community today.
The first in an annual series, the forum brings together some of the world's brightest minds from government, media, and the nonprofit world as keynote speakers and panelists for three symposia.
"The performing arts are undergoing dramatic changes, and this summit will bring greater attention to the critical concerns of the artists, arts managers, and board members who must navigate these changes successfully.”
—Michael M. Kaiser, Kennedy Center President and forum host
The 2014 Kennedy Center International Arts Leaders Forum is made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein.
Terence Blanchard (trumpet) is one of the most important musician/composer/band leaders of his generation. His emotionally moving and technically refined playing is considered by many jazz aficionados to recall earlier jazz trumpet styles.
Born March 13, 1962, in New Orleans, the young Blanchard was encouraged by his father, Joseph Oliver, to learn to play the piano. In the third grade he discovered jazz trumpet when a big band, featuring Alvin Alcorn on trumpet, played at a school assembly. In his teens Blanchard attended the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, where he studied and played with saxophonist Donald Harrison. While performing with Lionel Hampton's bib band, he studied for two years at Rutgers University.
Harrison and Blanchard replaced Wynton and Branford Marsalis in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1982) and the next years, as leaders, recorded New York Second Line. The recording won the French Grand prix du disque. The compositions and solo talents of Blanchard and Harrison on the disc New York Scene (1984) helped bring a Grammy to the Jazz Messengers. In 1984 the team formed their own quintet and made several recordings, including Discernment (1985) and Black Pearl (1988). Since 1991 Mr. Blanchard has made several recordings as bandleader, including The Heart Speaks (1996, Columbia/Sony). He also participated in the recording Color and Light: Jazz Sketches on Sondheim (1995). His CD Jazz in Film, with Joe Henderson, Donald Harrison, Kenny Kirkland, Steve Turre, Carl Allen and Reginald Veal, merges the powerful world of jazz with classic movie scores such as Duke Ellington's Anatomy of A Murder, Quincy Jones's The Pawn Broker and Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown. The jazz/gospel release Jubilant with opera/spiritual singer Jubilant Sykes, uses Blanchard own arrangements.. Both are on the Sony Classical label. The album Wandering Moon (Sony Classical, 2000), features Blanchard performing his own compositions with Branford Marsalis, Brice Winston, Aaron Fletcher, Edward Simon, Dave Holland and Eric Harland.
In recognition of his exemplary work as a trumpeter, bandleader, and composer, Terence Blanchard received three top awards from Down Beat Magazine for the year 2000: "Jazz Artist of the Year," "Jazz Album of the Year" for Wandering Moon, and "Jazz Trumpeter of the Year." Mr. Blanchard's CD Let's Get Lost features the great standards of legendary composer American popular song artist Jimmy McHugh newly interpreted by Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson. Blue Note released Blanchard's critically acclaimed Bounce in 2003. In June 2005, Blue Note released Blanchard's Flow, produced by Grammy Award-winner Herbie Hancock. Who appears on two of the album's tracks-- "Benny's Tune" and "The Source."
Blanchard is well known as a performer and musical composer for films, including several by Spike Lee. For Lee's film Mo' Better Blues (1990) Blanchard was musical arranger and a trumpet coach for actor Denzel Washington. Among other Blanchard film compositions are scores for Malcolm X (1993) and Clockers (1995). He scored Jungle Fever, Spike Lee's 1997 Oscar(r) nominated documentary Four Little Girls and the critically acclaimed MCA/Universal release Eve's Bayou. Mr. Blanchard also performs on the soundtrack for the film Things You Can Tell By Looking At Her and was featured on the soundtrack for the film Random Hearts (Sony Classical). Mr. Blanchard has also contributed music or written the full score for the film projects: Love and Basketball; Bamboozled, produced by Spike Lee; The Truth About Jane; Caveman's Valentine; It's A Girl Thing; Original Sin starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas, and Bojangles.
Mr. Blanchard has become artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the University of Southern California. Terence Blanchard appeared at the Kennedy Center in March 2001 with his Quintet, with Diane Reeves in "Let's Get Lost" in March 2003, and with his sextet in October 2003 featuring songs from his Blue Note debut, Bounce.
Last updated: March 1, 2007
Deborah Borda is president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, managing the largest symphonic organization in the US. A pioneering orchestra administrator and visionary institutional leader, Borda has transformed the business of the arts-revitalizing each organization she has led through a combination of savvy, fiscally responsible management and curatorial daring. A tireless innovator, she has dramatically extended the artistic, commercial and technological boundaries of the American symphonic world over the course of her career.
After more than two decades of leadership at such organizations as the New York Philharmonic (Executive Director), the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (President and Managing Director) and the San Francisco Symphony (General Manager), Ms. Borda came to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2000. As President and CEO, she is responsible for the administrative, artistic and technical operations of the Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Bowl, as well as the presentation of more than 300 concerts annually at these iconic venues.
A 39-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Julián Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. First elected on May 9, 2009, Mayor Castro was handily re-elected to a third term in 2013.
Throughout his tenure, Mayor Castro has focused on attracting well-paying jobs in 21st century industries, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy and raising educational attainment across the spectrum.
Mayor Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort turned nonprofit that has galvanized thousands of San Antonians around a simple, but powerful vision for San Antonio—to create a brainpower community that is the liveliest city in the nation.
Under his leadership, the city established Café College, a one-stop center offering high-quality guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. Since opening in 2010, Café College has served more than 25,000 area students.
During his tenure, San Antonio ranked No. 1 on the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities list, graded A+ for doing business by Forbes and ranked as the nation's No. 3 new tech hotspot by Forbes.
In November 2012, Mayor Castro led a voter-approved public referendum that will expand high-quality Pre-K services to more than 22,000 San Antonio four-year-olds over the next eight years. Mayor Castro also has brought a sense of urgency to revitalizing the city's urban core, including the underserved East Side of San Antonio, by initiating the "Decade of Downtown" and approving a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment. These efforts have spurred plans for the construction of more than 2,400 housing units in the center city by 2014.
In March 2010, Mayor Castro joined executives from Google and Twitter in being named to the World Economic Forum's list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its "40 under 40" list of rising stars in American politics. Mayor Castro also is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow and serves on the board of the LBJ Foundation.
Mayor Castro earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors and distinction in 1996 and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2000. In 2001, at the age of 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman at that time in San Antonio history. He is married to Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school teacher, and they are the proud parents of Carina, born in 2009.
Mayor Castro's brother, Joaquin, serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ana-Marie Codina Barlick is Chief Executive Officer of Codina Partners, a real estate investment and development firm based in Coral Gables, Florida. As CEO, Codina Barlick is responsible for overseeing all operations at the Company. Prior to being named CEO, she oversaw the development of the Downtown Doral project in South Florida. Codina Partners, in association with CM Doral Development Company, was chosen to design and build the three-story, 60,000 square-foot Doral City Hall. The $21 million Doral City Hall will be the centerpiece of Downtown Doral, a 120-acre mixed-use project featuring thousands of residential units, more than one million square feet of commercial space and an elementary school. Codina Partners is the master developer of Downtown Doral.
Prior to joining Codina Partners, Codina Barlick was a project manager for Flagler Development Group where she began working on Downtown Doral. She has continued her work on the project in her new position. Previous to her role at Flagler, Codina Barlick was a leasing agent for Tishman Speyer Properties and an assistant project manager for Codina Group, the predecessor of Codina Partners.
Codina Barlick earned a Masters in Business Administration degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Business, where she co-founded the MIT Sloan Real Estate Club. She holds a Bachelors of Art in History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
A South Florida native and an advocate for the arts, Codina Barlick is the past president of the Board of Governors of the Miami City Ballet. She resides in Coral Gables with her husband, Robert Barlick, Jr., and their three children.
Brett Egan leads the DeVos Institute of Arts Management’s team of consultants and instructors in projects on six continents, advising organizations and executives in every arts industry on a range of short-and long-term concerns, including strategic planning, artistic planning, marketing, human resource development, and fundraising.
From September 2011 through December 2012, Egan served as Interim CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat (Oman), working closely with Omani leadership to provide policy, program, and human resource development for this first-of-its-kind institution on the Arabian Peninsula. Arriving only weeks before the official opening, Mr. Egan led the organization through a successful first season with performances by international icons in opera, music, and ballet, including Zeffirelli’s Turandot, regional premieres by the American Ballet Theatre and Teatro La Scala Ballet, and the world premiere of a new Carmen commissioned and produced by the Opera House. The highly acclaimed inaugural season hosted tens of thousands of Omanis and expatriates with an average capacity of 92% seats sold, and supported the launch of a substantial new program in arts education and outreach for children and adults.
During the same period, Egan led two US-based, national capacity building initiatives in partnership with the Ford Foundation for organizations re-thinking their use of space; regional capacity building programs in six American cities including Miami, Detroit, New York, and Chicago; a year-long national training program in Ireland for fifteen leading cultural organizations; International Fellowships at the Kennedy Center for nearly 70 arts managers from over 40 countries; an annual, nine-month fellowship for 10 mid-career arts executives; strategic planning consultancies with performing and visual arts organizations from Anchorage to Fort Worth to New York City. This work continues today.
In 2011, Egan co-authored The Cycle: Planning for Success in the Arts with Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser, which has been translated into Arabic, Czech, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
From 2006 to 2009, Egan served as Executive Director of the New York City-based modern dance company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, which toured an average of 22 cities each year, and was a Kennedy Center resident company, a Park Avenue Armory resident company, and a principal contributor to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. Prior to 2006, Egan worked in a variety of cultural organizations including Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Annie Leibovitz Studio, and Santa Fe Opera, as well as serving as managing producer for the American premiere of Handel’s Siroe (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music) and the world premiere of Vivaldi’s Andromeda Liberata, first at Teatro Ridotto in Venice, then at Carnegie Hall.
Egan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Cultural and Performance Theory, received the Antarctic Service Medal and a Princess Grace Fellowship (Monaco), and wrote a guide to travel from Mongolia to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Egan grew up in Southern California, where he attended the Orange County High School of the Arts, and currently lives with his wife, a teacher and performer, in Washington, D.C.
Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed, platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording multiple studio albums, a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances, a remix record, music for film and TV, as well as numerous collaborations with artists from Sara Bareilles to William Shatner.
In 2012, Folds reunited with the Ben Folds Five and released a new album The Sound of the Life of the Mind. The band continues to tour the world in 2013, and just released their first LIVE album Ben Folds Five LIVE this summer.
Folds has also achieved critical acclaim for his insight as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition The Sing-Off.
A Nashville resident, he owns and operates the historic RCA Studio A, where legends of all genres of music-from Elvis Presley to the Monkees, Eddy Arnold to Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett to the Beach Boys-have recorded.
Folds, who serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony, is currently composing a piano concerto which he will debut in 2014 as a part of a global symphonic tour. He has also enjoyed a special relationship with symphony musicians, having performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras.
A member of the distinguished Artist Committee for Americans for The Arts, Folds is also an outspoken advocate for music therapy and music education.
Sonya M. Halpern is a former advertising sales and marketing executive who has worked for ESPN, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, and Cox Enterprises. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Black Arts Festival and has served as Co-Chair of the Festival’s annual gala for the past three years. Earlier this year, Ms. Halpern was appointed to the Atlanta Judicial Commission by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of Massachusetts and an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford.
Howard Herring is a native of Oklahoma, a pianist by training, and now President and CEO of the New World Symphony. In 1986, he became executive director of the Caramoor Music Festival, leading that institution through the establishment of an endowment and the creation of two programs; Rising Stars/Caramoor Virtuosi and Bel Canto at Caramoor. He assumed leadership at the New World Symphony in 2001 with the charge of revitalizing the institution’s national and international profile. In January 2011, New World Symphony opened a new musical laboratory designed by Frank Gehry, on time and on budget. The program-driven building was designed to explore digital technology, establishing the New World Symphony as a major new crossroads of Western musical thought.
Judith Jamison joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and quickly became an international star. Over the next 15 years, Mr. Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour-de-force solo Cry. During the 1970s and 80s, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and formed her own company, The Jamison Project. She returned to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989 when Mr. Ailey asked her to succeed him as Artistic Director. In the 21 years that followed, she brought the Company to unprecedented heights--including two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company's 50th anniversary. Ms. Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a "Bessie" Award, the Phoenix Award, and the Handel Medallion. She was also listed in "The TIME 100: The World's Most Influential People" and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. This year, she became the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.
As a highly regarded choreographer, Ms. Jamison has created many celebrated works, including Divining (1984), Forgotten Time (1989), Hymn (1993), HERE . . .NOW. (commissioned for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad), Love Stories (with additional choreography by Robert Battle and Rennie Harris, 2004), and Among Us (Private Spaces: Public Places) (2009). Ms. Jamison's autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and published in 1993. In 2004, under Ms. Jamison's artistic directorship, her idea of a permanent home for the Ailey company was realized and named after beloved chairman Joan Weill. Ms. Jamison continues to dedicate herself to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture, and she remains committed to promoting the significance of the Ailey legacy--using dance as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future.
Although John Lithgow is an actor with a broad range of interests and talents in every area of the entertainment industry-and even outside it, he has been working in show business since the early seventies, and has achieved stunning success in wildly varied ventures. A list of his restless pursuits strains credulity.
At heart, Lithgow is a theater actor. In 1973, he won a Tony Award three weeks after his Broadway debut in David Storey's The Changing Room. Since then, he has appeared on Broadway 18 more times, earning another Tony, 3 more Tony nominations, 4 Drama Desk Awards, and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. His performances have included major roles in My Fat Friend, Trelawney of the "Wells," Comedians, Anna Christie, Bedroom Farce, Beyond Therapy, M. Butterfly, The Front Page, and, most recently, Retreat from Moscow, Mrs. Farnsworth, and the musicals Sweet Smell of Success (his second Tony), and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In 2007, Lithgow made his Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Malvolio in Neil Bartlett's production of Twelfth Night, a rare honor for an American actor. In the fall of 2008, he returned to the Broadway stage as Joe Keller in the critically acclaimed revival of the Arthur Miller classic, All My Sons. Most recently, Lithgow presented his critically acclaimed one man show, John Lithgow: STORIES BY HEART at Lincoln Center and has just finished a run of the acclaimed show to London's National Theatre.
In the early 1980s Lithgow began to make a major mark in films. At that time, he was nominated for Oscars in back-to-back years, for The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. In the years before and after, he has appeared in more than 30 films. Notable among them have been All That Jazz, Blow Out, Twilight Zone: the Movie, Footloose, 2010, Buckaroo Banzai, Harry and the Hendersons, Raising Cain, Ricochet, Cliffhanger, Orange County, Shrek, Kinsey, a flashy cameo in Dreamgirls and in the recent Confessions of a Shopaholic.
For his work on television, Lithgow has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards. He has won four of them, one for an episode of Amazing Stories, and three for what is perhaps his most celebrated creation, the loopy character of the alien High Commander, Dick Solomon, on the hit NBC comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun. In that show's six-year run, Lithgow also won the Golden Globe, two SAG Awards, The American Comedy Award, and, when it finally went off the air, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His other major appearances on television have included roles in The Day After, Resting Place, Baby Girl Scott, My Brother's Keeper, TNT's Don Quixote, and HBO's The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. He is currently starring in the critically acclaimed Showtime series Dexter.
And then there is Lithgow's work for children.
Since 1998 he has written seven NY Times best-selling children's picture books, including The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Marsupial Sue, Micawber, and I'm a Manatee and his most recent I Got Two Dogs. In addition, he has created two Lithgow Palooza activity books for parents and children, Lithgow Palooza Readers for use in elementary schools, and the forthcoming The Poets' Corner for Warner Books, a compilation of 50 classic poems aimed at young people, to stir an early interest in poetry. All of this work has won him two Parents' Choice Silver Honor Awards, and four Grammy Award nominations.
He sings, too.
Lithgow has performed concerts for children with the Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, San Diego, and Pittsburgh Symphonies where he returns this season. Last season, he appeared at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in his version of Carnival of the Animals. He has released three kids' albums, Singin' in the Bathtub, Farkle & Friends, and the Grammy-nominated The Sunny Side of the Street, released by Razor & Tie Records. All of these concerts and albums have included several his of own songs and rhyming narrations.
And then there is the ballet.
In 2003, the noted choreographer Christopher Wheeldon invited Lithgow to collaborate with him on a new piece for the New York City Ballet. The result was Carnival of the Animals, a ballet for 50 dancers, with music by Camille Saint-Saens and with Lithgow's verse narration. Lithgow himself spoke the narration from the stage. At a certain point he ducked into the wings, climbed into costume, and re-emerged to dance the role of The Elephant. He has performed this feat 20 times, and will repeat it with the Houston and Pennsylvania Ballets. The project also spawned another award-winning children's book, Carnival of the Animals, and another Grammy-nominated CD.
John Lithgow was born in Rochester, New York, but grew up in Ohio, graduated from high school in Princeton, New Jersey, attended Harvard College, and used a Fulbright Grant to study at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art. He was honored by Harvard with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2005, and, at that time, was invited to deliver the school's Commencement Address. He concluded his address with a new children's book, written for the occasion and dedicated to Harvard's Class of '05. The book, Mahalia Mouse Goes to College, is calculated to instill an interest in higher education in very small children. It is a March 2007 release from Simon & Schuster.
Mr. Lithgow has three grown children, a granddaughter, and lives in Los Angles with his wife Mary, a Professor of Economic and Business History at UCLA.
Patrick McIntyre has worked in the Australian cultural sector for more than 20 years in management, business development, and marketing roles. He is Executive Director of Sydney Theatre Company, one of Australia’s largest performing arts organizations, which produces work for four home venues in addition to national and international touring. His previous roles include Associate Executive Director of The Australian Ballet, General Manager of Sydney Film Festival, and Marketing Manager of Sydney Opera House Trust.
Wendy Nelson currently serves on several for-profit and not-for-profit boards, including as Chair of the Guthrie Theatre Board of Directors in Minneapolis, MN. She has held leadership positions in start-ups, private equity, and global organizations. Over the last 10 years she has held executive level positions within Carlson across various business units, including executive vice president of brand strategy Carlson Hotels and executive vice president Carlson Hotels Real Estate Company.
Current Board Service includes: The Rezidor Hotel Group Board of Directors, Bush Foundation Board of Directors, Northwestern University Board of Trustees, Inner City Tennis Board of Directors, Carlson Board of Directors, Carlson Real Estate Company, Carlson Family Foundation Board of Trustees, Carlson Holdings, parent company of Carlson Board of Governors, and the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation for the University of Minnesota Board of Trustees.
Lyric Opera of Chicago's Board of Directors unanimously elected Kenneth G. Pigott as its president and chief executive officer in May 2011. Previously, Pigott served as executive vice president of Lyric's Board (2010-11) and chair of Lyric's production sponsorship committee (2000-11). He has served on the executive committee since 2000 and sits on all of Lyric's standing committees. He chaired the eight-month international search that resulted in Lyric hiring Anthony Freud as general director in 2011. He also led the discussions with soprano Renée Fleming that culminated in her becoming creative consultant to Lyric in December 2010. Pigott is Lyric Opera's eighteenth president and CEO, succeeding Richard P. Kiphart. Pigott joined Lyric's Board of Directors in 1998.
Pigott's career includes more than 40 years of operational, investing, acquisition, and finance experience. He is managing partner of Vaduz Partners LLC, a private investment company specializing in information technology services. He has led multiple successful private investments involving business transformations of several companies, including USA.NET, Collegis, Premier Systems Integrators, Intertech Resources, and Systems Maintenance Services. Pigott was a corporate partner at the Winston & Strawn law firm (1968-79). He graduated from Iowa State University (where he captained the school's football team), and Harvard University Law School. He also served as a financial advisor to Gillett Holdings, DeBartolo Corporation, and Reading Company (1979-85).
Pigott serves as an executive committee member of the board of Chicago's Merit School of Music, and is a board member of Opera America. Pigott, along with his wife, Jane DiRenzo Pigott, also actively support the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, the Harris Theater, and the Chicago High School for the Arts (Chi Arts). They also support health, education, and civil rights initiatives including infectious disease research and clinical services at Northwestern University, the Young Women's Leadership Charter School, Reading in Motion, the Posse Foundation, the Civil Rights Center of the University of North Carolina, and the American Civil Liberties Union. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Children's Hospital of Chicago Medical Center / Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Pigott, 68, and his wife live in Chicago. Their seven adult children live throughout the United States.
Known for his off-beat news reports and commentary, Mo Rocca is a Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and host and creator of the Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli, in which he learns to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country. He's also a frequent panelist on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! Mo spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and four seasons as a correspondent on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
On Broadway he played Vice Principal Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other stage credits include Doody in the Southeast Asian Tour of Grease.
Mo Rocca began his career in TV as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS children's series Wishbone. He went on to write and produce for other kids series, including ABC's Pepper Ann and Nickelodeon's The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss—a pre-school series combining the whimsy of Seuss characters with the magic of Jim Henson puppetry.
Mo is the author of All the Presidents' Pets, a historical novel about White House pets and their role in presidential decision-making.
David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $199 billion from 38 offices around the world.
Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.
From 1973-75, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-76 he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman).
Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution, and is President of the Economic Club of Washington.
Mr. Rubenstein is on the Board of Directors or Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Business Council, Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Harvard Business School Board of Dean's Advisors, the Woodrow Wilson School Advisory Council at Princeton, the Board of Trustees of the Young Global Leaders Foundation, Advisory Board of School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University, the Madison Council of the Library of Congress, and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Rubenstein is married to Alice Rogoff Rubenstein and they have three grown children.
Victoria Sharp was educated in the US at Phillips Academy, Andover and at Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she gained a BA in the History of Art. In 1982, she joined the Mergers and Acquisitions department of Goldman Sachs moving with them in 1984 to London initially to help establish the Capital Markets Group and ultimately working in Corporate Finance. In 1987, she joined Russell Reynolds Associates, one of the leading international executive search firms.
In 1991, Victoria returned to post-graduate studies in 18th century British Art at the Courtauld Institute, subsequently joining the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. There she worked with John Ingamells, formerly the Director of the Wallace Collection, collaborating on two books: A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers to Italy, 1701-1800 and Allan Ramsay: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, both published by Yale University Press.
Victoria is currently Chairman of the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a Council member of the Royal College of Music. She is also a member of the Mayor of London's Music Education Steering Committee.
Working in musicals, Shakespeare, film, and opera, Julie Taymor is a wildly imaginative and provocative director and designer. In 1998, Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony Award(r) for Best Direction of a Musical for her production of The Lion King. Her 1996 Broadway debut, Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, earned five Tony(r) nominations. Other theater credits include The Green Bird, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads, Liberty's Taken, and Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Taymor's feature films include Titus starring Anthony Hopkins, Frida, Across the Universe, and The Tempest starring Helen Mirren. Taymor has also directed five operas internationally, including Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, as well as Salomé, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte, The Magic Flute, and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel. Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.
Beloved dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt is one of the world's most versatile singers and endearing musical personalities. Thanks to the singular power and beauty of her voice, and her captivating stage presence, she is internationally revered for performances in the operas of Wagner, Strauss, Verdi, and more, besides serving as an active recitalist and exponent of Broadway standards and popular songs. She boasts an extensive discography and regularly appears-as both performer and host-in the Metropolitan Opera's "The Met: Live in HD" series, which is transmitted live to movie theaters worldwide.
Deborah Voigt's 2013-14 season begins with a return to Washington National Opera, where she will mentor young artists in the company's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in the newly created role of Artist-in-Residence. In March, she makes her role debut as Marie in Berg's Wozzeck in a Metropolitan Opera production featuring Thomas Hampson in the title role and James Levine as conductor. She also returns to Belgium's Opéra Royale in Liège as Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio. Numerous recitals this season bring Voigt to cities across the U.S., including Carmel (Indiana), Fort Worth, Kansas City, Miami, Boston, Palm Desert, Stanford, and Sonoma. The fall dates in Boston feature Voigt performing Voigt Lessons, a one-woman show she developed with award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello that debuted at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2011 to great acclaim. During the holiday season, Voigt will be in Salt Lake City for Christmas Concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She will also appear on the concert stage this season with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Zurich's Tonhalle Orchester. In the fall she will sing at the 30th anniversary gala concert for the Simon Estes Educational Foundation, as well as host a special benefit concert at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral for the organization Sing With Haiti, which raises funds and resources to support the programs, and rebuilding, of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince. The school was devastated by the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in January 2010.
Voigt made her first appearances of the 2012-13 season on television, when she hosted a special five-night presentation of Wagner's complete "Ring" cycle on the PBS series "Great Performances from the Met." Robert Lepage's visionary new staging, which starred Voigt as Brünnhilde, was also released as a Blu-ray DVD set that won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013. The production was revived at the Metropolitan Opera in the spring, showcasing Voigt in a role that she made "exciting and expressive" (New York Times) with a voice that "blazed with passion" (New York Daily News). Also last season, Voigt hosted multiple transmissions--including the season-opening event--in the Met's popular "Live in HD" series, while performance highlights included starring as Cassandre in Francesca Zambello's revival of Berlioz's Les Troyens at the Met; reprising her hit portrayal of Minnie in Puccini's La fanciulla del West at Belgium's Opéra Royale; and giving concert performances in Beijing and Shanghai, China.
Through her career, Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic roles in German opera, from Richard Strauss's Ariadne, Salome, Kaiserin (in Die Frau ohne Schatten) and Chrysothemis (in Elektra) to Wagner's Sieglinde (in Die Walküre), Elizabeth (in Tannhäuser) and Isolde. She is also noted for her portrayals of such popular Italian operatic roles as Tosca, Aida, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Leonora in La forza del destino, and La Gioconda. Voigt's wide-ranging repertoire also includes starring roles in Strauss's Egyptian Helen, Der Rosenkavalier, and Friedenstag; Wagner's Lohengrin; and Berlioz's Les Troyens.
Voigt's extensive discography includes two popular solo recordings for EMI Classics, both of which were critical successes. The Washington Post praised the "discerning eye" behind the adventurous choice of repertoire for All My Heart with pianist Brian Zeger, and noted that it was "performed by a voice outstanding not only for tone and power but for interpretive subtlety and emotional nuance." Voigt's earlier disc, Obsessions, presents scenes and arias from operas by Wagner and Strauss. Gramophone's review of the Billboard top-five bestseller states, "The arias highlight Voigt's extraordinary ability to soar effortlessly and luminously above the orchestra with her trademark rich, lustrous, never hard or brittle voice." Her recording of Strauss's Egyptian Helen was also a Billboard bestseller and was named one of the best CDs of the year by Opera News. A live recording of the 2003 Vienna State Opera Tristan und Isolde, in which Voigt made her headlining role debut, was released by Deutsche Grammophon.
A devotee of Broadway and American song, Deborah Voigt has given acclaimed performances of popular fare, including benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York Theatre Workshop. "Voigt ... comes to pop-singing naturally. ... If this were 1970, she would probably be given her own network variety show," raved Opera News. She has sung concerts with Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl, and given performances in Lincoln Center's long-running "American Songbook" series, singing Broadway and popular standards. In the summer of 2011 Voigt won praise as Annie Oakley at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, headlining in Irving Berlin's beloved Annie Get Your Gun as well as in Voigt Lessons. Variety reported: "Deborah Voigt, perhaps the foremost dramatic operatic soprano of the day ... [is] profoundly aware that each song has a story to tell; her delivery is expressively honest and her voice lustrous and creamy. ... Voigt crosses the opera-Broadway boundary with grace and elegance, harboring a strength reserved for special moments. She is also in the possession of a devilish sense of humor, which was delightfully used to frame a lyric with a naughty smile." Millions of viewers heard Voigt sing "America the Beautiful" on NBC's nationwide broadcast of Macy's Independence Day fireworks show in 2004, and later that year they witnessed her majestic ride down Broadway in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. She has also been profiled by many important national media outlets, such as CBS's 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and Vanity Fair.
Deborah Voigt studied at California State University at Fullerton. She was a member of San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and won both the Gold Medal in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Competition and First Prize at Philadelphia's Luciano Pavarotti Vocal Competition. Voigt is a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and was Musical America's Vocalist of the Year 2003. In 2007, she won an Opera News Award for distinguished achievement, and in 2009 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Known to Twitter fans as a "Dramatic soprano and down-to-earth Diva," Voigt was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top 25 cultural tweeters to follow. She is currently writing a memoir scheduled for publication by Harper Collins in 2014.
Chris Widdess has more than 35 years of experience in strategic realignments, development and marketing for non-profit corporations in the United States. Since 2004, Widdess has been the managing director at Penumbra Theatre Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, the nation’s largest and preeminent African American theater. Together with Lou Bellamy, its founder, and Sarah Bellamy, his successor, Widdess is helping to ensure a successful leadership transition and the launch of a new vision for activist theater in America. Widdess also provides consulting services to a diverse range of arts organizations through ArtsLab of Arts Midwest and through DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center.
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