Fred Bronstein, Dean, The Peabody Institute

Fred Bronstein

Fred Bronstein – an accomplished pianist, dedicated music educator, and successful chief executive of American symphony orchestras – began his appointment as the first dean of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University on June 1, 2014. He was renewed for a second five-year term beginning July 1, 2019. Continue reading Fred Bronstein’s bio>>


Brad Balliett, co-Artistic Director, Decoda, and bassoon faculty, The Peabody Conservatory

Brad BalliettBrad Balliett is a bassoonist, composer, teaching artist, and poet. He is an Artistic Director for Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, a chamber music collective focusing on community engagement and training the next generation of teaching artists. Brad is also a member Signal, Metropolis, and the composer-collective band Oracle Hysterical. Continue reading Brad Balliett’s bio>>

Alan Brown, Principal, WolfBrown Consultants

Alan BrownAlan Brown, principal of WolfBrown, is a leading researcher and management consultant in the arts and culture sector worldwide. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences, evaluating support structures for the arts, and helping cultural institutions, foundations and agencies to see new opportunities, make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape. He speaks frequently at national and international conferences about audience behaviors, trends in cultural participation, and, most recently, the sector’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Continue reading Alan Brown’s bio>>

Jake Heggie, composer and pianist

Jake HeggieArguably the world’s most popular 21st century opera and art song composer” (The Wall Street Journal), Jake Heggie is best know for his acclaimed operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, Three Decembers, Two Remain, and If I Were You. The operas and his more than 300 art songs have been performed extensively on five continents, championed by some of the world’s most beloved artists. Dead Man Walking has received 70 international productions and two live recordings since its premiere in 2000, making it the most widely performed American opera of our time. Continue reading Jake Heggie’s bio>>

Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

Sarah JohnsonAs Director of the Weill Music Institute, Sarah Johnson is responsible for developing and overseeing all Carnegie Hall education and social impact programs. The Weill Music Institute annually serves over 500,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York City metropolitan area, across the United States, and around the world. During her time at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Johnson has led the Weill Music Institute in enormous programmatic growth and has launched numerous initiatives including Musical Connections, serving people in healthcare settings and correctional facilities, including juvenile justice settings; the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a summer training program for ages 16-19; NYO2, for ages 14-17; and most recently, NYO Jazz, for young jazz instrumentalists ages 16-19. She is the 2017 Americans for the Arts National Arts Education Leadership honoree, and was the 2013 American Express NGen Leadership Award winner, an honor given each year to one accomplished leader under the age of 40 who has demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs.

Wendel Patrick, music producer, and assistant professor in Music Engineering & Technology, The Peabody Conservatory

Wendel PatrickWendel Patrick has been referred to as “David Foster Wallace reincarnated as a sound engineer” by Urbanite Magazine and as “wildly talented” by the Baltimore Sun. He has been referred to by XLR8R magazine as “a hip-hop producer that could easily make any fan of Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, or Madlib flip out.” The alter-ego of classical and jazz pianist Kevin Gift, Wendel Patrick is rapidly making a name for himself as a producer to be recognized. His five albums, Sound:ForthcomingJDWPPassage, and Travel were all produced without the use of sampling, with Patrick playing every note of every instrument. What is perhaps most astounding and perplexing to listeners is that there are actually no instruments…he crafts all of the instruments, and every note, electronically. Continue reading Wendel Patrick’s bio>>

Krishna Thiagarajan, President and CEO, Seattle Symphony

Krishna ThiagarajanKrishna Thiagarajan, DMA, joined the Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall as President & CEO in September 2018.

Prior to joining the Seattle Symphony, Thiagajaran was Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), leading the organization through a period of significant growth while defining their international reputation. Under his leadership, the RSNO increased performances and audiences, in addition to growth in earned and contributed income. He developed the RSNO to become one of the busiest recording ensembles in Europe, producing critically acclaimed releases and accomplishing successful international tours. Continue reading Krishna Thiagarajan bio>>

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founding Artistic Director/Chief Visioning Partner, Urban Bush Women

Jawole Willa Jo ZollarGrowing up in Kansas City, Missouri, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984 Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Continue reading Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s bio>>


Howard Herring, President and CEO, New World Symphony

Howard HerringHoward Herring is a native of Oklahoma, a pianist by training, and now President and CEO of the New World Symphony. After his academic work at Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music, he was pianist of the Claremont Trio, a winner of the Artists International Competition, and an active musician and teacher in New York City. Continue reading Howard Herring’s bio>>

Sean Jones, Professor of Trumpet and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies, The Peabody Conservatory

Sean JonesThe young jazz veteran trumpeter Sean Jones believes passionately in championing the creative arc of artists who are committed to their life journey. “I think the progression of the art form comes with people being allowed to be themselves in their rawest form with no compromise,” he has noted. Continue reading Sean Jones’ bio>>

Richard Kessler, Executive Dean, College of Performing Arts and Dean, Mannes School of Music

Richard KesslerRichard Kessler’s career in the arts spans nearly four decades including work as an educator, musician, teaching artist, advocate, government lobbyist, and organizational leader. Richard Kessler holds a dual appointment as the Executive Dean for the College of Performing Arts at The New School and Dean of Mannes School of Music, where he also oversees the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, the School of Drama, and Mannes Prep. Continue reading Richard Kessler’s bio>>

Alysia Lee, Fine Arts Education Program Supervisor, Maryland State Department of Education; Founder and Artistic Director, Sister Cities Girlchoir; professional studies faculty, The Peabody Conservatory

Alysia LeeKennedy Center Citizen Artist, Alysia Lee has a full circle role as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist, and policymaker. This gives her a broad perspective of the arts ecosystem. Lee receives national recognition for advancing access, equity, and decolonization with artists, organizations, and communities. Her methods center on anti-racism, creativity, and justice. Continue reading Alysia Lee’s bio>>

Timothy O’Leary, General Director, Washington National Opera

Timothy O'LearyTimothy O’Leary began as General Director of Washington National Opera in 2018, working with WNO’s Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. In his first year, Mr. O’Leary collaborated with the WNO board of trustees to establish the Fund for Innovation and Excellence through a new $6 million challenge gift, helping spur an 18% year-over-year increase in annual fundraising, a 28% increase in board giving, increased subscribership, and increased ticket sales. Continue reading Timothy O’Leary’s bio>>

Alan Pierson, Artistic Director, Alarm Will Sound

Alan PiersonAlan Pierson has been praised as “a dynamic conductor and musical visionary” by the New York Times, “a young conductor of monstrous skill” by Newsday, “gifted and electrifying” by the Boston Globe, and “one of the most exciting figures in new music today” by Fanfare. He is the Artistic Director and conductor of the acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound which has been called “the future of classical music” by the New York Times and “a sensational force” with “powerful ideas about how to renovate the concert experience” by the New Yorker. Mr. Pierson served for three years as the Artistic Director and conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times called Pierson’s leadership at the Philharmonic “truly inspiring,” and The New Yorker’s Alex Ross described it as “remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary.” He has spearheaded critically acclaimed cross-genre collaborations with artists like Yasiin Bey, Erykah Badu, and Medeski Martin and Wood. And he develops unique concert and online experiences that fuse music, theater, and multimedia to tell stories that connect listeners more deeply to great music. Continue reading Alan Pierson’s bio>>

Susan Zhang, Co-Director, The Concert Truck

Susan ZhangAcclaimed as a pianist with “astounding musical authority” (Columbia Free Times), Susan Zhang made her orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Augusta Symphony. She has since been featured as a soloist with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Aiken Civic Orchestra, the University of South Carolina Symphony, and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has performed in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and Woodruff Arts Center as well as numerous other venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. Her recordings have been featured on SC Public Radio. Continue reading Susan Zhang’s bio>>