25 Trendsetters in the Classical World

Strings magazine

Strings magazine

I recently contributed to a Strings article entitled, 25 Tastemakers and Trendsetters, which appears in the March issue. With the unknown future of the music world, more specifically classical music, it’s always great to find a few people who are trying to change things, or are rolling with changes in a productive and successful way.

For me, this article was a lesson in self-promotion (without a negative connotation, of course). Promoting yourself or a brand is all about finding a way to stick out from the pack, something that is difficult to do when it feels like all (nearly?) 7 billion people in the world are on the internet. I think classical musicians have to work harder at this than a lot of people.

I wrote about Hilary Hahn, Zoe Keating, and Sebastian Ruth, each of whom, while extremely talented in their own respects, have found unique ways of advancing the classical music world. Zoe Keating, a cellist and looper, used social media to (very successfully) promote herself after she was turned down by record labels who thought her music was too “niche.” Hilary Hahn has turned to contemporary composers to commission works from her, thus expanding the repertoire. Philanthropist and violinist Sebastian Ruth started Community Music Works, an organization that provides free music lessons to children in Providence, Rhode Island’s under-served communities.

There are 22 other amazing people profiled in this piece, which Strings published in celebration of its 25th anniversary. You can read the article here.