Mannes in a New Key

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The new century has brought a number of challenges to the classical music industry—a shrinking audience, disappearing recording studios, and a shift away from the success of the soloist. It’s also never been a more exciting time to be a musician. That becomes immediately clear when talking to Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes College The New School for Music. “We’re in the midst of an era in classical music where artists have more access points to reach people, incorporate techniques like improvisation and influences from around the globe, and to craft the next wave of the industry in any way they see fit,” he says. “There hasn’t been this much freedom and versatility in the field since perhaps the 1700s—the days of Mozart and Bach and Beethoven—when the canon was just beginning to form.”

To usher in this new generation of classical musicians—and ready them for a changing, global world—Mannes is in the midst of some major changes, including a move downtown in the fall of 2015, new faculty members, and a host of technically-inspired ensembles and curriculum additions. Kessler stopped in to discuss the evolving field with Research Radio. Tune in to learn more.

Research Radio is a New School podcast series that explores academic inquiry at the university. Our faculty and students have been researching pressing social and scientific issues, from sustainability to psychology to politics, for nearly a century–and now you can hear about their latest findings.