Ask the Experts: Bring On Your Music Career Questions!


Navigate to different topics in this panel discussion


This webinar will be hosted online on October 20, 2014 at 8PM EST by To attend, you’ll need a computer (or smart device – read more here) and a good internet connection. Register in advance to get email reminders and a direct link to join the webinar on October 20 (feel free to join 5-10 minutes before the start time). You’ll be automatically muted during the webinar but feel free to ask questions during our live Q&A session at the end. Please email us at with any questions or concerns.


Our panelists will use the following questions as a starting point for the webinar discussion, and then open the floor to questions from attendees:
1. Are there more, less, or the same amount of career opportunities for musicians today than in the past? Are the opportunities different or changing?
2. What are a couple of key skills that musicians, especially freelance musicians must have in order to be most successful?
3. What are a couple of the biggest challenges that musicians face when starting their careers, and how can they overcome those challenges?

Attendees can submit their music career-related questions when they register, as well as live on the webinar. Our panel of creative and experienced music career advisers will answer questions and discuss thoughts and strategies with participants. This is a great opportunity to get feedback regardless of whether you are a student about to embark on your career, or an experienced professional looking to advance your career. No matter how big or small, simple or complex your questions might be, bring them on! And let our expert panelists offer you their thoughts!


David CutlerDr. David Cutler balances a varied career as a composer, pianist, educator, arranger, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, speaker, advocate and entrepreneur. 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 was heralded by Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet as “Hands down, the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians.” His upcoming book The Savvy Music Teacher will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

As a performer equally comfortable with classical, jazz, popular, folk, and world genres, he performs regularly with artists like Boston Brass, New Century Saxophone Quartet, and Indian kathak dancer Cynthia Ling Lee, while stretching what it means to be a musical collaborator: interacting with audiences, incorporating choreography, playing secondary instruments. His eclectic compositional output has been commissioned by artists such as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Classical Orchestra of Milan, Korean Chamber Ensemble, and Airmen of Note Air Force Big Band.

Cutler studied at the University of Miami (BM), Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, Eastman School of Music (MM), and Indiana University (DM). He currently serves as the Director of Music Entrepreneurship at University of South Carolina.

Samuel Krall

Samuel Krall serves as Careers Coordinator at the Eastman School of Music, serving the entire student and alumni population. Sam has transformed career services at Eastman, having personally worked with nearly 300 students and alumni since 2012.  He has been part of career preparation for faculty positions, young artist programs, orchestral positions, public school teaching positions, private teaching positions, administrative positions, summer programs, fellowships, grant applications, and graduate programs.

In addition to formal applications, Sam works with students and alumni on addressing the sustainability of their careers and of their own musical initiatives.  He specializes in research and approaches to balancing financial security with the ability to take artistic and career risks and to persevere through challenging times.  He currently teaches a course on the subject through Eastman’s Arts Leadership program.

Sam is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, holding dual degrees in classical guitar and vocal performance as well as the Arts Leadership Certificate.  He maintains an active performance career, having recently performed the role of Sir Thomas Morton in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall performance of Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount. Currently, Sam is pursuing his master’s at Syracuse University’s Janklow Arts Leadership Program.

FinkelmeierDescribed by the Boston Globe as “unfailingly energetic,” Maria Finkelmeier is a performer, educator, and active arts entrepreneur based in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to rooting in New England, she spent three years in Northern Sweden at the Piteå Institution for Music and Media as an artist in residence. She is co-founder of the international percussion group, Ensemble Evolution, with whom she has given performances and masterclasses throughout Europe, Australia, and the US. In 2013, Ensemble Evolution presented a showcase concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, performing their self-released album “Sounds from the Treetops.” Maria’s clarinet and percussion duo, Clone Duo, has also performed internationally and recently merged with a Swedish duo En Vokalist och En Cellist for a five-part performance and educational tour of unique venues throughout Dalsland, Sweden. She currently serves as Program Manager of the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at the New England Conservatory, is the Director of Make Music Boston and the Percussive Arts Society Massachusetts State Chapter President.


About the author

Kristijan Bogdanovski