2010 Protégé Project
Our major new initiative for Chamber Music Northwest’s 40th year was the “Protégé Project,” created to help develop the next musical generations of both artists and audiences. A dream of CMNW artistic director David Shifrin for many years, the program came to fruition as an overnight success last summer. Designed as a training, performance and outreach program for outstanding young emerging artists, we invited 13 young musicians in their mid-20s (including Portland violinist Becky Anderson, now a student at Curtis Institute) to be in residence during the five-week festival. They were mentored and coached by CMNW festival artists, performed with their older colleagues on the CMNW stage, and presented their own “Alt-Venue Series” of four concerts. The Protégés also coached Portland-area music students at local summer music camps, performed at retirement communities, and presented other free CMNW summer outreach events.
2011 Protégé Project
Building on our success in 2010, we are very pleased to be implementing the second year of the Protégé Project. Now CMNW’s most important education and outreach initiative, this ambitious and already-successful program will bring 13 young professional musicians embarking on chamber music careers to be in residence at Reed College during our five-week summer season for mentoring and performance opportunities on the CMNW stage and also at many other Portland venues.
On their own, the Protégé ensembles will perform four Sunday night “club concerts” in alternative venues such as Mississippi Studios and Alberta Rose Theater, for intimate and informal events for small audiences. The Protégés will also coach Portland-area music students at summer music workshops and camps, and they will perform many free outreach concerts around Portland, including at retirement communities, a downtown noon concert at the Oregon Historical Society, family concert outside at Director Park with BodyVox dancers. We will invite the public to free master classes each Friday morning, to observe the Protégé musicians in their coaching sessions with CMNW festival mentor artists.
The twin goals of our project are to train and develop the next generation of chamber music artists, and to provide performance opportunities for them. We feel it is wonderfully appropriate and fitting in our fourth decade – having given CMNW audiences the opportunity over the years to follow the careers of artists like Ida Kavafian, Edgar Meyer and dozens more – that we now have a formal program to build relationships with budding professional artists who will be the future of chamber music, and the future of CMNW. We are grateful for the support through Global Giving which helped us launch this exciting new program.