“Of all the empowering statements the flutist Claire Chase made in her convocation address to the graduating students of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in June, one must have really surprised them: ‘I’d love for every single one of you to put me out of business. Then I will know that I have done my job,’ ” writes Anthony Tommasini in last Thursday’s (12/26) New York Times. “The founding artistic director of the dynamic International Contemporary Ensemble … and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation fellow, Ms. Chase had just spoken insightfully about the challenges facing classical music.… Chase, 35, has been making the most positive case I have heard for the new entrepreneurship. It is more crucial than ever, she explained to the students, for emerging artists to create better organizations and stronger communities, to take over. ‘And I wasn’t kidding,’ she said during a recent phone interview. She does not pretend to have answers for the challenges facing the major institutions. Still, the big players in the field would do well to adopt some of the bold and resourceful thinking of the new generation. Witness the reinvigorated Mostly Mozart Festival, which has had ICE in residency, a ‘pretty unexpected marriage,’ as Ms. Chase called it.”

Posted January 3, 2014