In this country the opportunity exists for artists in a great variety of disciplines to bring new works of art to life or to share ideas with colleagues in a concentrated way and in a setting specifically intended to support and inspire such gatherings. For performing musicians such opportunities all too often come to an end once their formal training is completed, and in a field where artistic growth continues and deepens with experience and age, a haven fostering undistracted and focused exploration is sorely needed.
For musicians and ensembles making the difficult transition from conservatory to the professional world, the reality of making a living in music while assimilating all they have learned, continuing to develop musically, and pursuing specific career paths presents conflicting pressures. In later stages of a professional career the responsibilities of that life make it nearly impossible to find a stretch of uninterrupted time devoted to learning new music, the exploration and exchange of ideas and the development of new projects.
In response to this need, Yellow Barn instituted its Artist Residencies, the first retreat program in the United States created specifically for professional, performing musicians at all stages of their careers. The purpose of the Artist Residencies is to further the art of the performance of classical music by providing an environment conducive to undistracted study, an exchange of ideas and opportunities for performance. Their content is defined by artists’ proposals and Yellow Barn’s artistic vision, and musicians have come to Yellow Barn to create new repertoire, to prepare for major performances, to explore new interpretations of important works, and to stage theatrical events.
In a general sense, the idea of the Artist Residencies is born out models for the creative artist, for the “authors” of new work. To recreate existing work calls for a different surrounding. In recreating music the performer’s task is intrinsically tied to those for whom they play. The performer provides the means of communication between composer and listener and at Yellow Barn’s Artist Residencies public involvement is not only welcome but also essential to many residencies activities. Thus the fall, winter, and spring events that take place during residencies and afterwards across the country through our ongoing partnerships, are the natural outgrowths of residency projects, as are the educational workshops that take place at the Greenwood School.