“As president and CEO of Washington Performing Arts, Jenny Bilfield is responsible for organizing a wide range of classical, jazz, dance, and global-music performances all over town, including some of the most prominent programming at the Kennedy Center and Strathmore,” writes Rob Brunner in Wednesday’s (4/11) Washingtonian. “April highlights include Gustavo Dudamel’s Los Angeles Philharmonic and the innovative Shift Festival, which brings [American] orchestras to the area for adventurous concerts.… A classically trained pianist and composer, Bilfield now plays a key role in shaping Washington’s cultural life … whether it’s the Chicago Symphony at the Kennedy Center or less traditional fare … Q: You seem interested in broadening the [classical-music] experience. Bilfield: Absolutely.… In many ways, I love hearing people clap [at the wrong moments] because to me that means there are new people in the hall. That’s a positive sign. When I was studying music, there was always an attempt to put people in a category: You must be this type of musician. My composition friends couldn’t believe that I would write serious ‘classical music’ and then want to go dance to Michael Jackson…. It’s very different now. We can be vigilant about not pigeonholing our audience or the music.”

Posted April 13, 2018