Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research

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Judy_slider2The Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research is a division of the Orchestra Musician Forum at the Eastman School of Music.  The Center’s research and programming emphasizes the 21st century evolution of the innovative ensemble, influenced by both the symphony orchestra and the chamber music traditions, with a focus on creative, artist-centered ensembles that reflect new models of artistic innovation, organizational relationships, and operational sustainability.

What is an “innovative ensemble,” you ask? Here is our definition:An innovative ensemble is a musical group that explores new and creative models of operation, programming, and presentation, which are a crucial part of the ensemble’s identity. The Paul Judy Center finds that innovative ensembles typically embody one or more of these new models:

  • Non-traditional instrumentation, or instrumentation that is flexible
  • Artist centered, possibly artist-run, and/or innovative methods of organization and management (these ensembles typically do not have collective bargaining agreements)
  • New and engaging ways of connecting with audiences
  • Participatory concert atmospheres
  • Performances in unique venues and drawing in new concert-goers
  • Multimedia or interdisciplinary components
  • Innovation in music programming (Not necessarily focused on new music; can combine musical genres or show unique threads and themes between works, or present unique perspectives or concert formats of music old or new)

Click the following link to read a 2013 paper which studied a number of innovative ensembles in an effort to explore their approaches to all facets of being an ensemble in the 21st century: Alternative Ensembles: A Study of Emerging Musical Arts Organizations

The Paul R. Judy Center currently supports the following three initiatives: Grants Program, Biennial Conference / Festival, An Arts Leadership Program Module. Click on the tabs above for more information.

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Grants Program
This grant program is intended to provide funding for research, events, and initiatives related to innovative ensembles.  Applications for funding will be accepted on an annual basis; grants will range from $500-$2,000.
Proposals will be accepted under the following categories:

– Research Support
– Event Support
– New Initiative Support

Click here for proposal instructions and guidelines (PDF).

2015 Grant Awards

New Initiative Category

Present MusicMilwaukee, WI
ComposeMilwaukee, a new community engagement program that consists of a series of workshops and performances that actively engage the audience in the creation and performance of new music.

Research Category

William RobinBrooklyn, NY
Research into the social history of new music in the United States from 1980 to the present through the lens of innovative ensembles.

Event Support Category

Charlotte SymphonyCharlotte, NC
Romeo & Juliet: a multidisciplinary performance featuring a live outdoor plazacast in collaboration with Charlotte Ballet, Opera Carolina, UNC Charlotte School of Art + Architecture and PlayMakers Repertory Company

ContemporaneousNew York, NY
ORBIT: an immersive concert experience based in four neighboring art gallery spaces featuring works by female composers

DunyaBelmont, MA
Othello in the Seraglio, a music drama featuring 16th and 17th century European and Turkish musical sources along with original music by Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, presented at Oberon/American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, NY

Ensemble Dal NienteChicago, IL
The Party, a 5-hour long communal listening experience at Mana Contemporary, celebrating the ensemble’s 10th anniversary

Intersection Contemporary Music EnsembleNashville, TN
Key of Intensity, a concert featuring works for medium ensemble and the Ondes Martenot, along with original choreography

Inverted Space EnsembleSeattle, WA
Commissioning, performance, and display of new graphic score works in collaboration with neighborhood art walks and an Earle Brown performance-retrospective

Nouveau Classical ProjectNew York, NY
Mysterium Novum: an interactive synesthetic music and art installation

2014 Grant Awards

New Initiative Category

Alarm Will Sound
Alarm System, a new initiative comprised of workshops and performances featuring collaborations with composers outside of conventional classical music networks

International Contemporary Ensemble
OpenICE, a new international initiative offering free programming in three major areas: Live Concerts, Online Innovation, and Education

Research Category

Gamelan Dharma Swara
A new research project studying the current operational, programming, and funding models of gamelan groups and similar ensemble

Daniel S. Isbell
A new research project – Musical Code-Switching: Musical Interactions in Alternative Music Ensembles

John Pippen
A new research project studying artistic innovation, organizational structure, and operational sustainability in three new music ensembles

Event Support Category

Hotel Elefant
speakOUT spring 2015 concert featuring works written by female composers

New Vintage Baroque
A trio of concerts in the 2014-15 season exploring the theme of “Vice”

Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
May, 2015 concert featuring the audience as active creators using the iAlvin app

Third Coast Percussion
March, 2015 performance at Constellation in Chicago, featuring the premiere of three new percussion quartets

The Weckmann Project and Musica Nuova
December, 2014 staged production of the Christmas Oratorio by Heinrich Schutz

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Biennial Conference / Festival
The Paul R. Judy Center will organize a biennial conference emphasizing research and opportunities for evolution of current ensemble models. For 2015, the Paul R. Judy Center collaborated with Chamber Music America to present the pre-conference day at the Chamber Music America National Conference, January 2015 in New York City.

Chamber Music America Pre-Conference Day

How to Succeed In A Changing Musical World










Presentation slides from Thursday, January 15, 2015 – Click on the links below to download presentation slides

John Nugent and Marc Iacona – What Makes it Work? – The Elements of Success pdf

Judith Ricker – Keeping Your Brand Hot pdf

Michael Reed – You Don’t Have to Be a Geek… to Make Technology Work for You pdf

Steve Haase – Putting Your Audience Center Stage pdf

Darrell Grant – Don’t Go It Alone: Enrich Your Performances Through Collaborations pdf

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An Arts Leadership Program Module
This new Arts Leadership Program module will engage students in development of new ideas related to innovative ensembles and organizational/business practices.  The module will include Arts Leadership Program courses as well as the development of experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom.  Initial courses envisioned include:

– “Creating and Sustaining a Professional Ensemble” (Spring 2014)
– “Excellence, Innovation, and Uniqueness: Developing Your Creative Career in Music” (Fall 2014) 

The Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program (ALP) is designed to prepare Eastman students for a rapidly changing musical culture and an increasingly competitive and diversified marketplace. The ALP includes a certificate program, a variety of course offerings, an internship program, a guest speaker series, and more – all with the goal of providing students with the tools they need to succeed as a 21st century musician.

 For questions about any of these programs please email  Thank you.