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Tony Woodcock
Tony Woodcock is a leading pioneer in the field of arts management and music education. At the heart of his work is a dedication to positioning future generations of artists as independent innovators and community leaders. Tony was President of New England Conservatory from 2007-2015, following a transcontinental career managing orchestras including Minneapolis, Oregon, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony. A veteran fundraiser, negotiator and institutional reformer, he has made dynamism and fresh ideas the foundation of his leadership, and has left a legacy of potent innovations still in evidence across the United States and Great Britain. As an orchestral CEO, he organized numerous international tours between Europe and the United States, successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with four major orchestras, and collaborated with a diverse array of celebrity talent, from Paul McCartney to Yakov Kreizberg. All of this was achieved against a backdrop of increases in audience and revenue. Tony studied at Cardiff University, where he was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship. He now divides his time between southern Europe and NYC, teaching, writing, and consulting on projects. You can discover more about his work on his website:

Entries by Tony Woodcock

"Everything you've's all true."

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 11:41 AM

Like millions of other people I couldn't wait for the premiere of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens last December. I attended a few days after the crowds had dispersed, and sat there in rapt expectation, clutching my large bag of M&Ms. Then, there it was--the film I had...

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Top 10 of 2015

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 6:08 PM

For me, this has been an interesting year of travels, adventures in distant lands, and new experiences. Wherever I have gone, though, I've taken the opportunity to explore theatre and musical performances, film, art exhibits, and the most intriguing books. Given this peripatetic life, I've missed out on one or...

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'What Would You Do with a Blank Piece of Paper?' Pt. III

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 12:14 AM

In the previous two installments, I presented an overview of the Berklee College of Music's innovative Valencia campus and two of the four concentrations offered in its Master's program. In this final installment, I look at the other two concentrations, and ask how this curriculum compares...

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'What Would You Do With a Blank Piece of Paper?' Pt.II

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 12:44 PM

In my first installment, I looked at the creation of the extraordinary new campus and cutting edge curriculum that Berklee College of Music has developed in Valencia, Spain. In this second part, I examine two of the school's four concentrations.

The Global Entertainment and...

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'What Would You Do with a Blank Piece of Paper?' Part I

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 5:23 PM

2015-12-06-1449430973-4154397-Tonysshot.jpgIf you are a Star Trek fan, you can easily visualize this: A fleet of Klingon star ships decloaking and landing in a dry riverbed in the middle of a beautiful city. Because, to my eye at least, that is just what...

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(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 2:36 PM

2015-11-17-1447789556-9908540-Spotify.svg.jpgI felt like a complete dinosaur the other day. I was introduced to the astonishing magic that is called Spotify, the media platform that can access any recording by anyone from any time and play it for you immediately and...

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Guns, Tanks, Man Utd, and 'Star Wars'

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 10:39 AM

2015-11-01-1446412822-8682013-Russiantanks.jpgWe have all come across the terms hard power and soft power as generic descriptions of various government policies and behaviors around the world. Hard Power is probably the one we are most familiar with, as it seems to manifest itself in...

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(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 3:59 PM

Many of the great composers who were also great performers were well known for championing the works of others. Mendelssohn, as conductor, was essential in restoring the nearly forgotten legacy of J.S. Bach. Similarly, he re-introduced Schubert who had all but disappeared to audiences in the mid-19th century.

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The Magic of Serendipity

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 7:55 PM

2015-09-29-1443540557-4250116-Concertgebouw__Amsterdam.jpgMy wife and I were recently in Amsterdam revisiting the major art museums and enjoying that wonderful freedom which makes this city so extraordinary. The weather had been really hot, which I don't associate with Holland at all, and on this particular...

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Conspicuous Consumption

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 3:32 PM

2015-09-08-1441729258-5135613-mercadocentralvalenciaalquilercoches.jpgThis will be the first ever blog I have written that is not devoted to music and the arts. What it is devoted to, however, is incredibly closely allied to music and musicians, something which musicians prize almost as much as their...

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Commencement Into This New World

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 6:34 PM

2015-05-15-1431707088-276241-Commencementgraduatesback.jpgMay is the season of Commencements and as New England Conservatory and other schools of music prepare to graduate a new class of wonderfully gifted, creative, and idealistic young musicians, one can't help but contemplate the world in which they will make...

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The Death of Liberal Arts? Or the Reunion of Broken Parts

(4) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 4:05 PM

2015-04-24-1429896892-5801893-FareedZakaria300px.jpgMany of us have seen Fareed Zakaria on CNN hosting his own program focused on international affairs. His style of journalism and reporting is penetrating, analytical and smacks of an intelligence that seems all too rare on TV these days....

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Ran Blake and Film Noir

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 12:53 PM

2015-04-07-1428440338-7806260-Ran250px.jpgRan Blake was over at our house for dinner a while back, and at the end of the evening he asked me to show part of any movie that I considered extraordinary. I chose something contemporary, Melancholia, directed...

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Benjamin Franklin and the Reflective Conservatoire

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 9:27 AM

I recently heard a mordantly humorous new take on Benjamin Franklin's most famous quote: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and the immutability of conservatoires." I was at a major...

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Why Does London Need a New Concert Hall?

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 4:33 PM

2015-02-17-Rattle_BPHRittershaus2_Wi.jpgThere is a debate raging in London surrounding Sir Simon Rattle's apparent stipulation that he will only consider the London Symphony Orchestra's invitation to become their new Principal Conductor if the City fathers build him a new concert hall to replace the...

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St. Valentine and the Meaning of Life

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 1:02 PM

Washington Irving (1783-1859) was the wonderful American author and U.S. Ambassador to Spain, who rediscovered the Alhambra in Granada, with which my wife, Virginia, and I fell in love during our visit in the summer of 2013. Irving's book, "Tales from the Alhambra," generated such interest in the 1800s that...

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Brains and Bottoms

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 12:49 PM

2015-02-05-Philharmonieexterior300px.jpgParis has a new, state-of-the-art concert hall, something the French have been waiting for since they dispatched Louis XVI in 1793, thus making possible government- funded arts venues for the people. It's called the "Philhamonie de Paris." Not the most inventive of...

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Bitcoin and Proust or "À la recherche de l'argent perdu."

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 11:26 AM

2015-01-20-Bitcoin300px.jpgWe have probably all come across that word BITCOIN and not given it much thought. Or perhaps we have. It's pretty interesting as a modern financial phenomenon. My take on it is that it was created as a reaction against...

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Manhattan Medicis

(1) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 10:55 PM

2015-01-07-AnnMoore.jpgAnn Moore must be considered one of the most successful women to have worked in Corporate America. She was the first woman CEO of Time Inc. and served as Chairman and CEO from 2002 to 2010. During this period she was recognized...

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2014 Top 20 Picks

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 3:20 PM

Each year I survey what I have seen and experienced in the past 12 months and, after much soul searching and difficult internal debate, come up with my top 20 picks. (Plus two alternates!) Here is the list for 2014:


1. All is Lost
Directed by J.C. Chandor...

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