Jennifer Bilfield to Head Stanford Lively Arts
Stanford Lively Arts has announced the appointment of Jennifer Bilfield as artistic and executive director for Stanford Lively Arts. After a 12-month national search, the executive search committee of Stanford University faculty and staff selected Bilfield to succeed Lois Wagner, who retired in 2005 after 21 years with the organization. For the last three years, Bilfield, who will join the staff in early August, has served as the president of music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., a company for which she has worked since 1994, previously serving as B&H’s director of promotion for the North American offices, director of serious music, and general manager. In leaving B&H, Bilfield will no longer be a management shareholder, which is a one percent stake in the corporation. The disposition of her shares will be determined by the board of directors.
In the music business since 1983, Bilfield specializes in strategic management, promotion, and presentation of contemporary music. During her tenure at Boosey & Hawkes, Bilfield expanded Boosey & Hawkes’s catalog, attracting leading composers to its roster and recently launching a jazz publishing project. Prior to joining Boosey & Hawkes, Bilfield served as executive director of the National Orchestral Association, where she created the New Music Orchestral Project, a four-year initiative for fostering new orchestral works by living American composers which launched 48 works with readings, world premieres at Carnegie Hall, and second performances. Concurrently, the Project comprised the preparation of musical materials, a library of archival recordings, and promotion of the music and composers. Bilfield also served as executive director of the Concordia Chamber Symphony and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and has held positions at Merkin Concert Hall and International Production Associates.
Throughout her career, Bilfield has received numerous professional awards, including the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Helen M. Thompson Award, a biennial honor recognizing outstanding achievement in orchestra management. Bilfield currently serves on several boards and committees within the music industry: American Music Center (vice president), American Symphony Orchestra League (chair, public advocacy committee), and ASCAP’s Symphonic & Concert Committee and Board of Review. She is also a frequent contributor to industry publications and conferences. Bilfield is a trained composer and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is married to Joel Phillip Friedman, a composer of concert and musical theater works who most recently was on the faculty at Swarthmore College prior to their Bay area relocation. They have a young daughter named Hallie.
The appointment of Bilfield to head Stanford Lively Arts is the most recent development of Stanford University’s new Arts Initiative, which was first announced last spring by University President John Hennessy. In an April 12 address to the Academic Council, Hennessy contextualized the role of the arts to fuel innovation within the academic environment saying, “The arts develop ways of thinking that can be nonlinear and visual rather than verbal. In addition to the role of the arts in fostering creative thinking, the arts give us a venue for dealing with the complexities and ambiguities of human existence, helping to build a bridge between diverse cultures and experiences.”
According to David Demarest, vice president for public affairs at Stanford University, “Jenny brings a real breadth and depth of understanding about the power of the arts, and specifically live performance. With Jenny at the helm, Stanford Lively Arts is poised to fuel the Arts Initiative and further engage the arts in the academic mission of the institution.”