November 6, 2018: The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music announced today that Ed Harsh has been appointed Director of Strategic Initiatives, effective immediately. Harsh recently concluded an eleven-year tenure as President and CEO of New Music USA, including four years as President of Meet the Composer prior to the creation of New Music USA in 2011. He began his professional career in 1992 with an eight-year tenure as the inaugural Managing Editor of the Kurt Weill Edition.
“I am delighted that Ed is rejoining our team,” said Kim H. Kowalke, President and CEO of the Foundation, “to lead the development and implementation of a dynamic strategic framework to advance the performance, visibility, and identity of Weill’s and Blitzstein’s music–at a time when their voices seem ever more relevant and essential to the world at large.” In this newly created position, Harsh will oversee promotion, marketing, and branding, as well as the incubation of special projects and collaborative performance initiatives.
One of Musical America’s Top 30 “Innovator” Professionals in 2016, Harsh’s leadership of Meet the Composer and New Music USA was characterized by innovation and reinvention, with particular emphasis on evolution of the organization’s sector-leading virtual presence. Under his leadership, New Music USA initiated a complete overhaul of its traditional grant-making process and integrated it seamlessly with a collection of new media programs into a single online platform designed to support artists in promoting their own work. He was also instrumental in growing Meet the Composer’s $3.5 million endowment at the beginning of his tenure to New Music USA’s balance of $16 million at the time of his departure.
Harsh has served as an officer on the boards of both the Performing Arts Alliance and the International Association of Music Information Centres. Previously, he served as Director of Development of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Associate Director of David Bury & Associates, and Managing Director of Sequitur new music ensemble. As a founding member of the grassroots Common Sense Composers Collective and as a composer himself, he has completed commissioned work for ensembles including the Anhaltische Philharmonie, Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New Millennium Ensemble, and American Baroque. His published writings range from essays on music to musical editions, including The Threepenny Opera. His music has been recorded commercially on the Albany, Santa Fe New Music, CRI, and Neuma labels.
Harsh commented: “I have always believed that Kurt Weill’s music and ideas have a continuing and powerful role to play in contemporary culture and I am eagerly looking forward to working with my colleagues at the Kurt Weill Foundation to inspire performances and recordings and increase familiarity with the legacies of Weill and Blitzstein.”
Concurrent with his Weill Foundation role, Harsh is engaged in a personal book project using Kurt Weill’s work as a lens through which to examine the topic of artistic responsibility.
If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact Elizabeth Blaufox at the Kurt Weill Foundation: (212) 505-5240 x210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.