About Barbara Siesel

Welcome to Classical Music is Alive and Well … Isn’t It? I’m going to be blogging (what a word) about music, music education and the state of creativity and innovation in our country.  You may ask what qualifies me to do such a thing in so public a way? What’s so unique about me? Well during this eclectic career of mine I’ve had the opportunity to experience a kaleidoscope of music from which I draw my ideas. I’m a professional musician – a classical flutist and a graduate of The Juilliard School (where I earned my BM and MM).  While performing in NYC during the 1980’s I founded and lead a chamber music group that was a pioneer in thematic programming and a commissioner of many new works by emerging composers of the time, including Aaron Kernis, Tan Dun, Michael Torke and others.  In the 1990’s I became interested in how to combine new technologies with live performances and started working with a company called ACT (Art Culture & Technology) to create works that explored these emerging technologies.  I personally commissioned and performed many new works that utilized video and electronics in innovative ways.  I then founded the Storm King Music Festival that for five seasons showcased these new works and hosted 60 plus composers to be in residence and discuss the new developments in contemporary music. In the meantime I became a traveling professor and taught at The New World School of the Arts in Florida, Colby College in Maine, and Marist College and SUNY New Paltz in New York.

In 2004 it was time for a change!  I knew I had to reach a much broader audience, a more inclusive audience – an audience that included children – if the work I’d spent a lifetime doing was to continually blossom.  Keith Torgan and I founded Tugboat Music in order to achieve that goal and reach as many children as possible with live performances.  We have now performed 100’s of concerts and have successfully reached thousands of children and their families throughout the US with our programs.

So – maybe I do have a unique prospective.  I’ve lived in the ivory tower and performed in some of the world’s great halls with stellar conductors and extraordinary musicians.  I’ve performed for and talked with children who know almost nothing about music in many of the nation’s libraries and schools. I’ve taught hopeful young musicians at some the nation’s colleges and conservatories.  Now I’m sharing my thoughts and requesting that you engage with me in this dialogue!  I hope you join me on this journey.

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7 Responses to About Barbara Siesel

  1. Iva Kaufman says:

    Welcome to the cloud – you have made an outstanding contribution to contemporary and classical forms in music, culture, and community building and pioneered many of the digital audio and medial communication and production tools we take for granted today. Congratulations on being there first with your talent, creativity and leadership.
    Art Culture & Technology (ACT)

  2. Bob Bralove says:

    Wonderful to see you have a forum for your ideas. You have the experience and knowledge of a master but also the ability to articulate your musical thoughts in words. A rare combination of talents. I am looking forward to what this opportunity will yield.

  3. Elaine Fine says:

    Welcome to the bloggery, Barbara. I’ll be reading!

  4. Oren Fader says:

    Conrats on the new blog.

  5. Very nice, Barbara. Good luck and keep up the good work!

    Hi cousin Elaine!



  6. mary-ann says:

    People need music. Looking forward to your blog.

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