Armed with a first-hand understanding of the merits and drawbacks of modern conservatories, we began testing the waters in February of 2021. We started a server with the goal of facilitating the sharing of musical ideas and knowledge. What began as a casual place for conversation almost immediately became a hub of intellectual musical growth, and on February 20, we held our first online masterclass. Subsequent classes were taught by a wide range of highly respected and distinguished musicians. Discussion topics included everything from stylistic approaches to philosophical discussions of symbolism. Lessons and masterclasses were all recorded and archived, and our community gained a reputation as a place both for casual conversation and for serious learning.
The success of these masterclasses and the immediate and profound impact on the participating musicians led us to believe that our ideas had merit, and a much broader audience could benefit. The logical next step was to turn these ideas into a tangible reality. With this in mind, we took the idea to Thomas S. Kenan III, a generous friend and supporter of the arts, and a well-respected entrepreneur and economist. After reviewing the state of the Academy in its purely online form, he was enthusiastic and immensely supportive of the ideas of which we expressed to him. Growth as a family—spiritually, psychologically, and philosophically—were things that were stressed to be of the highest importance. With this in mind, he offered to help us make this a reality, and we have been working non-stop to prepare for the legal process of incorporation.
The eventual goal is a world-class musical institution, equipped with all the tools of the twenty-first century, serving as a mecca for intellectual and profound musical exploration. In the meantime, we will begin to provide lessons, discussions, masterclasses, and various classes in musical fundamentals in person as we transition away from online-only. The tight-knit community that we have already formed will be integral in bridging the gap between our in-person activities and the world at large, and we will continue to provide support and opportunities for learning for them.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”Claude Debussy