Philip Wilder, a strategic communications executive, arts administrator, and former member of the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, has been named Executive Director of Communications for the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. He will be responsible for developing and overseeing all aspects of the School’s strategic plans for marketing, media relations, public relations, and advertising and design.
Wilder, who received his Bachelor of Music degree in organ at Eastman in 1990, is currently Vice President of 21C Media Group in New York City, a public relations, marketing, and consulting firm specializing in classical music and the performing arts. There he developed business plans and strategies for a roster of clients ranging from solo artists, ensembles, and performing arts institutions to record labels, media organizations, and corporations.
“Philip Wilder is the best kind of advocate; a person who works with all kinds of musicians, knows how to deal with them, to talk to them, to talk about them,” said pianist Jeremy Denk. “Most importantly, he’s retained an innocent love of music-making, he remembers finally what all these concerts are for, why classical music is so vital; he is constantly thinking of creative ways to express this vitality in a changing media world.”
Said Metropolitan Opera star and Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, “Philip Wilder’s vast experience in the fields of performing, administration, and promotion of artistic institutions, individuals, and their endeavours, makes him uniquely suited to direct Communications at the Eastman School of Music. What really defines Philip, though, are the intangibles. His deep passion and respect for music and performers sets him apart, and his thorough care has always made me feel very safe in his PR hands!”
Wilder also has enjoyed a successful performing career. After graduating from Eastman, he joined Chanticleer, the 12-member a cappella vocal ensemble based in San Francisco that is known internationally for its interpretations of vocal music ranging from Renaissance to jazz, gospel, and new music. During his 13-year association with the ensemble, he performed as a countertenor and served as artistic administrator/assistant music director and education director, developing and implementing programs for music students in San Francisco and across the United States. Wilder also served as Chanticleer’s spokesperson, appearing on CBS, NBC, NPR, and other prominent national news outlets.
Wilder initiated the commission of the chamber opera Lamentation and Praises by Sir John Tavener for Chanticleer. Their recording of the work received the 2002 Grammy Award for Best New Composition and Best Ensemble Performance. He was also a vocalist and artistic administrator for the group’s 2000 Grammy Award-winning CD Colors of Love, and vocalist and assistant music director on the 2004 Grammy nominated Our American Journey.
“Philip Wilder brings to the Eastman School of Music a broad knowledge of the contemporary musical culture. He not only knows intimately the new modes of getting messages across in the 21st century, he has in fact pioneered some of these,” said Douglas Lowry, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. “He has worked with artists at the highest levels and commands their utmost respect. He will no doubt have a dramatic impact on our ability to bring Eastman even more to the forefront of American musical culture.”
Prior to joining 21C Media Group, Wilder was associate director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s capital campaign for the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He was also awarded a fellowship at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Vilar Institute for Arts Management. During his time at the Kennedy Center, Wilder managed the first American tour of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra and collaborated with Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser on an instructional workbook for strategic planning for emerging arts organizations.
“It is a great honor to be returning to the Eastman School of Music 22 years after leaving Rochester to embark on my first adventures in music. Throughout my career, my Eastman education has opened many doors and provided me with the tools for success on all sides of the music business, and my story is one shared by many graduates of the school,” said Wilder. “I have encountered Eastman alumni in roles encompassing all aspects of the music profession, from performers, educators and scholars, to leaders of some of the world’s most venerable arts institutions. Through my new role, I will relish the opportunity to illuminate and amplify the great work that Eastman, its faculty, staff, and alumni contribute to the field of music on a daily basis.”
Wilder will be joining the Eastman School of Music in February 2012.
About the Eastman School of Music
The Eastman School of Music (www.esm.rochester.edu), located in Rochester, N.Y., is one of the nation’s leading and top ranked music schools, educating 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students annually in performance, composition, jazz studies and contemporary media, music education, theory, conducting, and musicology.
The Eastman School was established in 1921 by Eastman Kodak Company founder George Eastman as the first professional school of the University of Rochester. The School’s faculty members include Grammy winners, Guggenheim Fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, and recording artists. Eastman’s prominent alumni include opera singers Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Joyce Castle, and the late William Warfield; jazz musicians Ron Carter, Steve Gadd, and Chuck Mangione; composer-conductor Maria Schneider; and composers Dominick Argento, Charles Strouse, Michael Torke, and Jeff Beal.
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