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2014 Workshop Faculty

The Savvy Musician in ACTION faculty includes innovative musicians and entrepreneurs who have changed the world. For this reason, we refer to them as Thought Leaders. The workshop also involves additional judges, experts and VIPs.

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David Cutler: author, “The Savvy Musician”

Dr. David Cutler balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, educator, arranger, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, speaker, advocate and entrepreneur. (In fact, a recent career diagram illustrated that he maintains no less than 24 income streams!) In all these pursuits, he works to push boundaries while connecting with new audiences.  One of the world’s leading voices on arts leadership, career and entrepreneurship training, he has offered ground-breaking interactive workshops for organizations such as the Julliard School, Dutch Classical Music Meeting, New World Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University, and Italy’s soundSCAPE music festival. Cutler’s book "The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living, and Making a Difference" was heralded by Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet as "Hands down, the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians." Following 11 years of teaching at Duquesne University, Dr. Cutler joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina as the director of music entrepreneurship in fall 2012, where he is working to create a culture of entrepreneurship across and beyond curriculum.

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Michael Harley: founding member, Alarm Will Sound; director, Southern Exposure New Music Series

Michael Harley enjoys a varied career as a teacher, performer and music advocate. He teaches bassoon, chamber music and music literature classes at the University of South Carolina where he also serves as artistic director of the award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series. Southern Exposure, a nonprofit concert series that presents free concerts exploring the rich variety of contemporary classical and world music, has hosted the Columbia debut of many of today’s most exciting and adventurous ensembles, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the JACK and Calder string quartets and Imani Winds.  Southern Exposure won the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Harley’s playing been called “spectacular” (Washington Post) and “exquisite” (Columbus Dispatch). As a founding member of the contemporary music chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, called “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American musical scene” by the New York Times, Harley has worked with and premiered pieces by many of today’s most accomplished composers, including John Adams, Derek Bermel, Caleb Burhans, Donnacha Dennehy, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm and Augusta Read Thomas.

Howard Herring

Howard Herring: president and CEO, New World Symphony  

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 and marshaling the forces necessary to create a facility to support the institutions future. In January 2011, New World Symphony opened a musical laboratory designed by Frank Gehry, on time and on budget. The program-driven building was designed to further the education of its Fellows, explore digital technology, serve the Miami community, and establish the New World Symphony as a crossroads of Western musical thought.

Ariel Hyatt

Ariel Hyatt: founder, CyberPR

Ariel Hyatt is a thought leader in the digital PR world. Foreseeing the impact that the Internet and social media would have on public relations long before her peers, Hyatt dove into the world of digital PR in 2003 with Cyber PR®. She didn’t just provide the platform; she made it her mission to educate artists on how to take advantage of the new digital world. Her efforts have been lauded by artists and industry professionals alike.  Hyatt’s bi-weekly newsletter and YouTube series “SoundAdvice” has attracted over 20,000 subscribers, and she has penned over 100 articles to date. She is also the author of two successful books on PR and new media: "Music Success in Nine Weeks" and "Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook & Twitter" offer artists a step-by-step plan to create a profitable and sustainable business from their art. Hyatt’s message is so compelling she has been invited to speak at festivals and conferences in 12 countries, including SXSW, CMJ, ASCAP’s I Create Music, The Future of Music, Canadian Music Week, APRA’s Song Summit (Sydney), You Are In Control (Reykjavik), The ECMAs, NARAS, Grammy Camp and The Taxi Road Rally.

Kimball Gallagher

Kimball Gallagher: world travelling pianist and entrepreneur

In 2005 pianist Kimball Gallagher, having just graduated from The Juilliard School, made history with his entrepreneurial savvy. He purchased his first grand piano for $25,000 by dividing the cost of the piano by 88 and asking for donations on a key-by-key basis. He produced a large poster of a piano keyboard, which donors could sign for the keys they wanted to buy. Gallagher’s unique fundraising strategy, coupled with his sharp sense of salesmanship, has since earned him accolades and recognition from colleagues, patrons and peers. Following this success, Gallagher founded PIANOKEY, a grass-roots organization that seeks to inspire interaction between artists and audiences through the revival of the romantic salon culture. PIANOKEY now develops and produces performances in intimate concerts in private homes throughout the country. Within a few short years, the PIANOKEY organization has built a network of dozens homes throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa. In 2009 Gallagher embarked upon the 88 Keys Home Concert World Tour, a subsequent spin-off of his first fundraising initiative, where he performs private salon concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, culminating in a 2013 Carnegie finale.

Ranaan Meyer

Ranaan Meyer: bassist; co-founder, Time for Three

Ranaan Meyer is a musical force recognized for his many projects, including his compositions and double bass work with the electrifying string trio, Time for Three. In addition to being a talented composer and double bass player, Meyer is also actively involved in education programs across the country and is frequently called upon to solo with orchestras. As a composer and performer Meyer has a rare versatility, and in addition to his classical work he is an accomplished jazz musician who has performed with the likes of Branford Marsalis. During his time at the Curtis Institute, Meyer began working with Zach DePue and Nick Kendall forming the string trio Time for Three. Their music, which proved to be a wildly popular mix of classical, country western, pop, gypsy and jazz, soon launched their careers as successful musicians and they continue to collaborate, tour and record together. Through all of Meyer's teaching experience he found himself compelled to begin two camps of his own. He also performs regularly with his mother, pianist Norma Meyer. In addition, he is frequently commissioned to compose for solo bass, bass and piano and other ensembles.

Margaret Lioi

Margaret Lioi: CEO Chamber Music America

Margaret M. Lioi joined Chamber Music America as CEO in June 2000. She began her arts career as a professional pianist and holds a master's degree in piano performance from the New England Conservatory and an M.B.A. in arts administration from Binghamton University/SUNY. Before coming to CMA, she held several administrative posts in the arts, including director of development for Spoleto Festival U.S.A., senior director of external affairs for The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and executive director of The Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust. A member of NEC's Board of Visitors and Alumni Council, Lioi also serves on the Board of Advisors of The Sphinx Organization.