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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Feb 28, 2020

I’m incredibly happy to welcome someone I admire and respect profoundly to the show this week: Howard Herring, President and CEO of the New world Symphony!

In our conversation, Howard talks about the many aspects of NWS, including the first rate musical training , the incredible programs and initiatives that they have, the support they offer to their musicians, the richness they bring to their community, how they train future leaders in our industry, and how we can all be powerful agents of artistic innovation in our communities.

He also elaborates on:

  • Their formula for audience building
  • How they create programs tailored for their audience
  • The importance of creating an experience for the audience and getting feedback from the public


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Howard Herring

Howard Herring is a native of Oklahoma, a pianist by training, and now President and CEO of the New World Symphony. After his academic work at Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music, he was pianist of the Claremont Trio, a winner of the Artists International Competition, and an active musician and teacher in New York City. In 1986, he became Executive Director of the Caramoor Music Festival. Mr. Herring led that institution’s development of the Rising Stars program for young instrumentalists, Bel Canto at Caramoor for young singers, and a curriculum-based arts program integrating music and visual art into K-12 studies. During his fifteen-year tenure, Caramoor celebrated its 50th anniversary and established its first endowment.


In 2001, Mr. Herring assumed leadership of the New World Symphony – America’s Orchestral Academy, a three-year post-graduate fellowship program for aspiring classical musicians and leaders. He was given the charge of energizing the institution’s national and international profile and developing a new building designed to explore its unique experiential curriculum and cutting edge digital work. The building was completed on time and on budget and opened to national and international acclaim in January 2011. The New World Center, designed by Frank Gehry, enables New World Symphony to exploit the global reach of broadband technology for education and digital capabilities for artistic expression. New World Fellows are exploring the establishment of an online music education community, integration of music and video, and engagement of new audiences through alternate performance formats. Dynamic partnerships with professional orchestras and distinguished music schools have been formed around these experiments.


New World Symphony


The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 32 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,100 alumni worldwide.

A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet.


The mission of the New World Symphony is to prepare highly-gifted graduates of music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world.


The New World Symphony envisions a strong and secure future for classical music and will redefine, reaffirm, express and share its traditions with as many people as possible.


The New World Symphony is dedicated to the artistic, personal and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists. The NWS fellowship program provides graduates of music programs the opportunity to enhance their musical education with the finest professional training. A laboratory for musical education and expression, the New World Symphony, through a wide range of performance and instructional activities, seeks to develop in its participants the full complement of skills and qualifications required of 21st-century first-class musicians. Under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, the program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, with the active involvement of leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. The relationships with these artists are extended through NWS's pioneering experimentation with distance learning and performance.


The New World Symphony is committed to maintaining an educational, working, and living environment founded on civility and mutual respect.  We have a philosophy of continuous improvement and are committed to strengthening this environment for the benefit of our Fellows, employees, and entire community.


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Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!