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Bobby McFerrin Announced as Chamber Music America 2011 National Conference Keynote Speaker
(Published: December 21, 2010)

New York, NY -- Chamber Music America's 33rd Annual National Conference, titled The Next Generation: Tradition + Trends, will take place at the Westin Times Square in New York City from January 13-16, 2011. Ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin will deliver the keynote speech, "Improvising a Life in Music," on Saturday, January 15 from 10:30 - 11:45 am. To register for the conference, please click here.

McFerrin's legendary solo performances and collaborations with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock and Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Yo-Yo Ma and the Vienna Philharmonic continue to explore and expand the boundaries of genre. This season, McFerrin has worked with local choirs around the world to perform music from his latest release, VOCAbuLarieS, recently nominated for a Grammy as Best Classical Crossover Album. VOCAbuLarieS, Bobby McFerrin's first new recording in eight years, harnesses his wildly joyful creativity and searching musical curiosity within a complex choral framework. Other recent projects include Bobble, an improvisational opera with a wordless libretto that tells the tale of the tribe of Babel, and a tribute to Chopin arranged by Gil Goldstein. Newsweek writes, "There is something almost superhuman about the range and technique of Bobby McFerrin. He sounds, by turns, like a blackbird, a Martian, an operatic soprano, a small child and a bebop trumpet." Herbie Hancock has said, "Bobby McFerrin can walk on the stage and create something that gets right to the hearts of the people."

Highlights of the 2011 Chamber Music America (CMA) conference will also will include master classes with Richard Stoltzman and Rufus Reid on January 13 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, and a panel discussion on musicians of the Next Generation and their evolving careers, also on January 13, led by Gabriel Kahane with Missy Mazzoli from 12:30 - 1:45 pm. A General Session and discussion with members of the musical Sirota and Clayton families as panelists follows on January 14 from 10:30 - 11:45 am. Panelists Robert, Jonah, and Nadia Sirota and John and Gerald Clayton will provide classical and jazz perspectives on how the younger generation of musicians has influenced older generations, where their paths diverge, and what they see as the future of chamber music. Twenty CMA-member ensembles were chosen to perform during the Conference weekend by an independent panel from a group of 56 applicants. The ensembles represent a wide range of styles, including classical/contemporary, jazz, baroque, and world music.

The 2011 Chamber Music America (CMA) conference is geared toward celebrating and deepening the dialogue between chamber music's seasoned professionals and the newest generation, thereby bringing fresh perspectives to the chamber music community while sustaining its greatest traditions. With this in mind, CMA is for the first time offering individuals 25 years of age and under the opportunity to register for the conference for only $10. CMA members who will be representing a non-profit organization at the 2011 conference may also bring one board member with them to attend free of charge; board members will meet their peers from across the country, participate in sessions targeted to their interests, and experience the event that brings the chamber music community together each year.

Finally, in the culminating event of the Conference, Chamber Music America will honor Anthony P. Checchia and Frank Salomon with the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, presented by Chamber Music America to honor persons who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. Recipients of the award have included exceptional performers, teachers, coaches, and others who have enriched the national culture by fostering a greater appreciation for chamber music. As presenters - jointly in Vermont, and separately in Philadelphia and New York City, they have devoted more than half a century to chamber music artists and audiences. As co-administrators of the Marlboro Music School and Festival, they have helped develop one of the world's foremost centers for advanced chamber music studies.

Chamber Music America, the national service organization for the ensemble music profession, was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen the evolving chamber music community. With a membership of over 6,000-including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists' managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music-CMA welcomes and represents a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including the bimonthly magazine, Chamber Music, and a website, www.chamber-music.org.

More Information: http://www.chamber-music.org

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