We here at Festival Mozaic are committed to providing rich experiences for up-and-coming musicians. But we’re also excited about creating opportunities for young arts administrators, as well. We know we need talented administrators in addition to having talented musicians to keep our nonprofit arts sector thriving. We were delighted to learn that Robert Whipple, who served in a special internship as Assistant to the Director during the 2012 Festival, just started a prestigious internship at the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center in New York. Here’s an update from him and how he got there:
At my new job at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, I send e-mails and plan programs a few feet from three perfectly tuned Steinway grand pianos in a state-of-the art recording and performing studio. Tomorrow, my primary work responsibility is to find a seat within a sold-out crowd and listen to the top chamber musicians in the world play Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor. Today I ate lunch with one of my best friends, a bassist from the New York Philharmonic, who rehearses across the street. Five blocks away is Jazz at Lincoln Center, where next week I’ll be seeing Coltrane’s pianist play with Miles Davis’ bassist and drummer. And from the tenth story window next to my desk in midtown Manhattan I can see the home of the Metropolitan Opera and the Lincoln Center Theater. They’re next to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts which boasts “the world’s most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field.”
A lot of the joy that comes from working for any music non-profit is getting to be surrounded by incredible music. It’s probably impossible to be surrounded by more music and other performing arts than by working in the Lincoln Center complex. Immersed in the energy of NYC and all of this music I can honestly say I am thrilled every single day.
But I never would have ended up here without my experience at Festival Mozaic. As Assistant to the Music Director (Scott Yoo) I gained vital experience working in a classical music library, providing administrative support in a concert, rehearsal and office setting, working as a production assistant, and innumerable other miscellaneous roles. The festival is such a packed two weeks, with multiple events happening simultaneous across a county every day, I have become a pro at working in a hectic environment where I am responsible for supporting the needs of many people.
And I met people: musicians, arts administrators, friends, who helped me move my career forward. Scott Yoo took me under his wing and showed me what an amazing conductor, violinist and music director he is, and what it takes to make a music festival happen. Executive Director Bettina Swigger wrote me recommendations at the drop of a hat and encouraged me every step of the way. Kristin Lee, one of the many talented violinists at the festival this year, also happens to be an artist at the Chamber Music Society. She put in a good word about me to the Education Director here. I cannot be thankful enough to all of the other musicians, administrators, production technicians, and especially Scott, for their support and friendship throughout the festival. I owe it to them for getting me on a path to success in this crazy world that is the music business.”
Robert Whipple is an upright bassist from Princeton, New Jersey. Having recently earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and music, he is currently pursuing a career as a performing artist and an arts administration professional. Steeped in a diverse musical background, he has studied and performed with a highly varied range of artists including string bass soloist François Rabbath and master jazz drummer and conguero Babatunde Lea. He served as Assistant to the Directors for Festival Mozaic in the Summer Music Festival, July 2012.