Moments like this are such a gift for those of us who teach. I am beyond thrilled for newly minted PhD, Dr. Megan Francisco (pictured right) as she achieves her dream after years of work at Wheaton, Yale, University of Washington, and a little Oxford in between, and so touched and grateful — and just a little teary — over having been included in her dissertation acknowledgements. Indeed the impossible is not that impossible when you’re as brilliant as Megan! ❤

“To my professors at Wheaton College, particularly Dr. Jennie Brown, thank you for encouraging me to pursue Music History and going for ‘the impossible’. It turns out the impossible wasn’t impossible after all…” Dr. Megan Francisco (Wheaton, Yale/Oxford, University of Washington)

Support Picosa for GIVING TUESDAY!

If you are considering supporting an arts organization this year for Giving Tuesday, please take a look at Picosa, a Chicago-based chamber ensemble with great projects ahead in 2021! You can also visit our Facebook donation page as well. Picosa is a 501(c)3 organization committed to innovative programming that crosses boundaries of time and genre and community building. We would love to have you join us at a live concert or livestream soon!

 

A couple weeks ago, I had the great privilege of beginning my term serving on the Chamber Music America Board of Directors. Chamber Music America is a national organization serving all performers, composers, and administrators working in the field of chamber music. It has been a national leader in incorporating IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) principles into this work and has set the bar necessarily high to move towards a brighter and more just future in our field.

This is a board that is filled with visionaries from every music discipline together with professionals working outside the field but immersed in musical life who also represent the beautifully diverse tapestry of faces, stories, and histories that create the richness of our country and our MUSIC. I never dreamed that an organization like this could exist when I was a college student, but with the leadership of Margaret Lioi, it has come into being. I believe the work that will follow will continue to impact the field for good for generations to come.

Here is a powerful Statement by the Board of Directors that was sent to the membership earlier this year. To hear the voices of those who have been marginalized for centuries is not only an obligation for our field today, it’s an honor that needs to be upheld. I can’t wait to continue this work with my colleagues on the board and to look towards a promising future for the sake of the sustainability and relevance of our field and most importantly, for the sake of our art.

Stacy Garrop’s Transformation of Jane Doe, Vanguard Composer, Chicago Opera Theater

Stacy Garrop’s Transformation of Jane Doe was stunning, with a great original storyline from librettist Jerry Dye. The entire organization of Chicago Opera Theater was top-notch professional, lead by their stalwart Music Director Lydia Yankovskaya. Read the review from Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune here.

This post is much delayed, but I wanted to include it in my blog because it was simply such a thrill to be part of a new opera coming to life. You know you’re dealing with a great composer when every last line in your score, even when completely immersed in the texture, is gratifying to play. Of course, I was just one small part of this all-around terrific production, but I hope it gets a fully staged premier WITHOUT a pandemic whirling around us. This opera deserves to be on stages around the world.

 

For Grammy ConsiderationFor GRAMMY® Consideration:

Graciously inviting voting members of

the Recording Academy to check out

Giantess and Vox.

Innova Recordings submitted my album Giantess for GRAMMY® consideration  in the categories of Best Classical Compendium for Giantess, Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Shulamit Ran’s Birds of Paradise, and Best Chamber Music and Small Ensemble for Vox. Please listen to the albums here and read more about the albums here.

Inspiration

These projects are my heart, and it’s been my joy to share these with the world. If you have a moment to listen, I’d appreciate it greatly. You can find them on my website (Jennie@JennieBrownFlute.com) or on Spotify, Amazon, and most other platforms. Giantess is comprised entirely of commercial release premieres of works by Carter Pann, Shulamit Ran, Valerie Coleman, Augusta Read Thomas, and Misook Kim. The theme of the album is centered on the universality of suffering, courage, and resilience, and dedicated to my late grandmothers, who exemplified these strengths all the days of their lives. Birds of Paradise is a work that embodies this theme, and I was especially fortunate to instigate the commission. Vox celebrated the 90th birthday of George Crumb with this recording of Vox Balaenae and connected works by Stacy Garrop, Carter Pann, and Narong Prangcharoen.

Good words about the album

“Flutist Brown conceived this album as a tribute to her grandmothers, who must have been fearless souls, judging by the daring character of the music Brown, pianist Pann and others have recorded here. From Shulamit Ran’s dramatic “Birds of Paradise” to Pann’s profoundly lyrical “Melodies for Robert,” from Augusta Read Thomas’ serene “Plea for Peace” to Pann’s epic “Giantess,” the album combines first-rate composition with startlingly strong performances.” Chicago Tribune, Best Classical Albums of 2019, by Howard Reich
[Vox] “…is an album of music that plays with the emotions and offers reflection and contemplation, where the superb talents of the musicians are almost forgotten in the sheer beauty of the music.” Art and Culture Maven, Anya Wassenberg
(Studio Ibid design)

Thank you,

Jen

My Fall Newsletter was just sent out this morning, and I’d love for you to see it. It’s a little bit of my heart as we all endure our current times, but most importantly I’d love for you to see the the beautiful new logo created by the fabulous artists of Studio Ibid, Ana María Bermúdez
and Milo Hopkins.
This is one of several “pandemic projects” that’s been in process over the past month or so, and I’m so deeply grateful to these wonderful friends for their thoughtful and committed work.

My new logo – Studio Ibid Design

The logo is an artistic rendering of a 도장 (“Dojang”), a small Korean carved stamp used as a signature. I remember seeing my grandparents’ 도장 lying around their house when I would visit, and I even had one made for myself when I visited Korea years ago (which I promptly lost, oops, and have missed ever since.)

The inspiration

The logo obviously bears my initials J.O.B., but I also see other meaning in those letters… I think of the word “job” and my love of my career and process as I prepare for each concert, work with each student, or other endeavor. I even think of my time studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy as a high school student, an incredibly formative time in my artistic life. We studied the Book of Job in Howard Hintze’s World Literature class, to this day one of the most influential classes I’ve taken (along with an Ecology class with Michael Chamberlain). This was my first in depth study of a book of the bible, and as many folks know, my faith is a huge part of my life.
All this to say, I’m so profoundly grateful for Studio Ibid and will happily shine a light on all they do whenever I can. Look for more from Studio Ibid as we begin planning to launch Ear Taxi Festival 2021! ❤

 

On September 6th, 2 – 3:30pm, I will be launching my workshop Resounding Art. 

Resounding Art is an opportunity to share ideas together to help us reach a vision that can bring focus to our professional lives. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve built a career that is uniquely my own, that reflects my values and my heart. I am more than happy to share the processes and strategies I’ve developed to bring that focus to YOUR life!