BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY


Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Zander

Maestro Benjamin Zander to conduct exploration of possibility

What does classical music have to offer us today? And how can it relate to business and leadership? In the hands of Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the power and spirit of the music translate into much more than a listening experience—one that inspires people to look inward and approach life with new gusto.

Zander will give a special presentation called “Experiencing the Art of Possibility” at 8 p.m. Jan. 20 in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Admission is free, but a ticket is required. To request one, call the box office at 2-8171.

Based on his best-selling book, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, co-written with his wife, psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander, the talk has been given to corporate executives around the world to rave reviews. The energetic presentation involves audience participation, musical demonstrations and singing.

Zander’s visit is part of BGSU’s Dorothy and DuWayne Hansen Musical Arts Series and is jointly sponsored by the College of Musical Arts and the College of Business Administration.

Dr. Richard Kennell, dean of the College of Musical Arts, explained, “The goal of this series is to provide opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across campus and throughout the region by bringing major national figures to Bowling Green. Benjamin Zander is a perfect choice, blending his expertise as a major conductor with his message of creative management that applies across a broad spectrum of professions and disciplines.”

“Zander draws parallels between the conductor of an orchestra and the CEO of a company in the most unforgettable and entertaining way possible,” according to Russell Loubser, CEO of JSE Securities Exchange.

In Zander’s model of leadership, the conductor sees his job as awakening possibility in others; he coaches and teaches musicians to liberate their expressiveness and businesspeople to overcome barriers to corporate productivity.

In addition to numerous talks to those in the business world, Zander has given the keynote address at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, three times. The Art of Possibility, published in 2000 by Harvard Business School Press and Penguin Press, has sold more than 200,000 copies in English and has been translated into 14 languages. Zander has been featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” among other programs.

BGSU music students will have a rare opportunity to work directly with the maestro the day of his presentation. Zander will coach students planning to participate in the Bowling Green Chamber Music Competition to be held in late February. The session, “Musical Leadership in Chamber Music,” will begin at 2 p.m. The location will be announced shortly.

Seeing himself first and foremost as a teacher, Zander has for more than 35 years taught at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He is also artistic director of the music program at the Walnut Hill boarding school for gifted musicians.

Zander is equally committed to educating audiences about classical music and regularly gives a free pre-concert talk about the upcoming performance.

"My theory is every single person . . . absolutely adores classical music, but most of them haven't found out about it yet," he said in an interview.

Zander has been with the Boston Philharmonic since its creation nearly 30 years ago. He has worked with such luminaries as Yo Yo Ma and has guest conducted London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the Israeli Philharmonic and numerous others. To see a video clip of an interview of Yo Yo Ma, visit http://www.benjaminzander.com/conductor/.

For more on Zander as a speaker, teacher and conductor, visit http://www.benjaminzander.com/.

Dorothy Hansen is an alumna of the College of Musical Arts, while DuWayne Hansen is a former chair of the Department of Music Education. The Hansen fund was established in 1996.

January 12, 2009