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SFCM Pilot Program with Boston Globe

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October 31, 2016 by Shase Hernandez

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation today announce a pilot program establishing a new model for supporting music journalism, in partnership with The Boston Globe. The three San Francisco-based organizations will provide funding to support a 10-month position at the Globe for Zoë Madonna, winner of the 2014 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism. On Monday, October 31, 2016, Madonna will begin her new post as classical music critic for the Globe corresponding with a short-term leave by staff classical music critic Jeremy Eichler, currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

The Rubin Institute for Music Criticism at SFCM seeks to prepare superb young writers as music journalists. Through a generous gift from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the partnership with the Globe will test a concept whereby a non-profit consortium can team with a major news outlet to create a financially sustainable model for the work of music journalists. In such a program, news outlets will retain complete editorial control over assignments and content and they will provide some funding as well. The model is designed to facilitate part-time work by critics and will not be used to supplant existing full-time positions.

Stephen Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt & Co., and benefactor of the Rubin Institute, praised the new partnership: "The Boston Globe is one of the great American newspapers. That it has chosen to engage with us in this groundbreaking endeavor is particularly meaningful to me as a former journalist. It is also thrilling to see a winner of the Institute's prize gainfully employed writing music criticism at a Pulitzer Prize-winning paper. I hope the Globe's willingness to partner with us will be a model for other newspapers across the land."

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory said, "We could not be more delighted to participate in this novel experiment with such worthy partners. We are excited about the benefit to our industry, to some of the great cultural institutions of Boston, and most especially to our readership, which will very much appreciate the proven talents of this young critic."

Lisa Delan, Director of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, commented, "Music journalism and music criticism are essential to the health of the classical music ecosystem. The Ann and Gordon

Getty Foundation is committed to facilitating new pathways for sustaining and expanding music journalism and bridging the gap between classical music and popular culture. We are excited to explore this promising partnership with SFCM, The Rubin Institute and The Boston Globe."

"This innovative partnership with the Globe can serve as a new model for supporting thoughtful, critical, and unbiased journalism in the future," stated SFCM President David H. Stull. "We need to maintain and advance the qualitative discourse on music, and this initiative can illuminate a new means of support for writers across the profession. I am thrilled The Boston Globe is pioneering this effort."

Following the partnership with the Globe, SFCM, the Rubin Institute, and the Getty Foundation will consider an ongoing strategy to support this endeavor on a national scale.

About The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe is New England's foremost regional news source dedicated to providing in depth coverage in breaking news, sports, business, lifestyle, and arts. With a mission to provide truth and accountability, both in print and on, the Globe is the epitome of premium journalism, winning 26 Pulitzer Prizes over the past 50 years. The Globe's arts coverage has earned special acclaim, winning five Pulitzers for criticism in the last 20 years. For more information, visit

About The Rubin Institute for Music Criticism

Founded in 2011 at Oberlin Conservatory of Music by Stephen Rubin, President and Publisher, Henry Holt & Co., and the first program of its kind focusing on music and music criticism, the Stephen and Cynthia Rubin Institute for Music Criticism brings together before the public national music journalists, renowned musicians, and aspiring young writers, combining the wisdom and insight of today's highly esteemed critics, the artistry and daring of acclaimed musicians, and the energy and promise of tomorrow's music journalists.

The biennial Rubin Institute features keynote addresses by national critics (Writers Panel) and public concerts by acclaimed musicians from the solo, chamber, orchestral, and operatic stages. The performances are reviewed by a hand-selected group of student writers (Rubin Institute Fellows) from renowned colleges and conservatories, and the Writers Panel critiques their work in private workshops and public sessions.

About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM)

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Its faculty includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning artists in the fields of orchestral and chamber performance and classical guitar. The Conservatory offers its 400-plus collegiate students fully accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. SFCM was the first institution of its kind to offer world-class graduate degree programs in chamber music and classical guitar. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 200 younger students. SFCM faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 6,000 members of the wider community. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President, Steinway & Sons - Americas, among others. The Conservatory's Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the "most enticing classical-music setting" in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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