Lessons from a Streetwise Professor: A Conversation on Music Entrepreneurship with Dr. Ramon Ricker


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Entrepreneurship is a major “buzz word” in music schools today, and a topic of growing interest in the arts. But what does it really mean for musicians looking to build a career in the 21st century? How can musicians prepare for careers that are increasingly entrepreneurial?  How can musicians separate themselves, follow their dreams, and make a living doing it? Dr. Ramon Ricker has been at the forefront of this discussion, leading innovative programs at the Eastman School’s Institute for Music Leadership and writing about it in his 2011 book Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor; What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools.  We will talk with Dr. Ricker about what skills and experiences he sees as being crucial for success as a 21st century musician, and we will get his thoughts about the future of classical music, innovations in the training of musicians, and more.  Join us!


R_RickerTEST3FINAL-REVAbout Dr. Ramon Ricker

Ramon Ricker is Emeritus Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music. Upon his retirement in 2013 he was Senior Associate Dean for Professional Studies and Director of the Institute for Music Leadership. As a senior administrator at Eastman, Dr. Ricker was instrumental in shaping the innovative entrepreneurial programs at the School.  He is also Editor-in-Chief of Polyphonic.org, an Eastman sponsored website for professional orchestra musicians.  He was a full-time Eastman faculty member since 1972, and was the first titled saxophone professor at the School. In 1973 he won a position with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as a member of the clarinet section, and continues to play in the orchestra today. His many books are looked to as standards in the saxophone and jazz improvisation fields with over 145,000 copies sold worldwide with translations in French and Japanese. His works are published by Schott (Germany), Alphonse Leduc (Paris), ATN (Tokyo), Alfred (USA) and Jamey Aebersold (USA). His latest book, Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor; What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools (2011, Soundown, Inc.) is fast becoming a must read for music students and was honored as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Business: Entrepreneurship and Small Business category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. (There was no music category.) In 2013 he was awarded the Eastman Dean’s Medal in recognition of extraordinary leadership, dedication, service and philanthropy. It is among the highest honors given by the School.

About the author

Kristijan Bogdanovski