The Soul of a New Ensemble: Musicians as Entrepreneurs -

My colleagues and I have been working hard for several months to prepare for our big public launch campaign - its exciting to have the NY Times cover it!  Read the excerpt below or follow the link for the full article.  

* Prior to June 2013 Decoda was known as “The Declassified”

New York is awash in self-governing groups that focus on new music and often play in once unexpected places, like bars, clubs and galleries. They include the International Contemporary Ensemble, So Percussion, the American Modern Ensemble, the Knights and Sonyc. Such groups have come in waves in recent decades.

But the Declassified has a special pedigree. It consists of alumni of the Academy, a two-year fellowship program sponsored by Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.

The 15 to 20 fellows — accomplished musicians who have finished conservatory or college and are just beginning careers — are trained to interact with audiences, teach and develop a sense of entrepreneurship. Carnegie pays them a stipend, gives them performances at the hall and elsewhere and sends graduates out for residencies at home and abroad.

The alumni decided they wanted to stay together and claim independence from Carnegie. Carnegie agreed to keep funneling them residency work as long as they functioned as a democracy and included future alumni, according to Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director. (Twenty fellows are finishing in June, and the next crop is about to be chosen.)

“Our approach will be to engage them as an ensemble, and they decide who are the players,” Mr. Gillinson said. Carnegie provides no direct financing, but Mr. Gillinson, whose first big project after he arrived at Carnegie in 2005 was to push for the Academy, said he had made a personal donation of $1,000. The group has raised about $12,500 toward a goal of $20,000 to pay for its opening week.