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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Matsuzawa Appointed President and Artistic Director of The People's Music School

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Matsuzawa Appointed President and Artistic Director of The People's Music School

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Sep 22, 2014
Chicago, IL

The board of directors of The People's Music School has announced the appointment of Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa as president and artistic director. Jennifer will assume responsibility for both the financial and artistic well-being of the school, she will lead the school’s exceptional staff, and also work with its directors and faculty in their ongoing pursuit of improving the school’s excellence in music education. The title reflects Jennifer’s multi-faceted experience, her passion, and her vision for the school. It also mirrors the role and responsibilities of Rita Simó when she founded and led the School.

Before pursuing her master’s degree from Harvard University, Jennifer was first an intern and then a member of the People's Music School's piano faculty. During her three years in that role, Jennifer observed how the tuition-free music education offered by the school impacted young lives, not just in the ability of a student to master a difficult piece of music, but in the true empowerment that comes from overcoming challenges. Jennifer’s teaching history will only enhance her leadership ability, as she has first-hand experience with the school’s vision – transforming lives through music.
After receiving her master’s degree, Jennifer had the opportunity to work as a community outreach coordinator at the Longy School in Boston, MA, while also serving as the marketing and education manager for a critically-acclaimed full orchestra, also in Boston. Jennifer then moved on to significant accomplishments in the business world, first working at PepisCo on their global brand, and next at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. Through those experiences, Jennifer built and led teams, managed budgets, and most importantly, was directly responsible for growth and innovation. Jennifer honed her business acumen and leadership skills in some of the toughest business environments, and she will now combine those abilities with her passion for music and the mission of the school.
In addition to her substantial education and business experience, both in the non-profit and for-profit worlds, Jennifer brings a lifetime of study with some of the best teachers of classical music. She has won honors at various local and international competitions, including the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA ARTS), Society of American Musicians, and Stravinsky Awards International. She has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, on Chicago classical radio and other venues around the world.
From all of her experiences, Jennifer has developed a true understanding that music can be an incredible tool to prepare individuals for life and all its challenges. The board of The People's Music School is confident that Jennifer brings a unique set of experiences that will be of singular value to the school. Her goal is shared by the board -- to see the school to its full potential, based on a mission that has never been more relevant.
About the People's Music School
The People's Music School has provided free, high quality comprehensive musical instruction since its inception in 1976. Located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, the School's programs currently serve 400+ children.  On-site offering mandatory theory classes, private lessons, ensemble training and regular performance opportunities and off-site implementing El Sistema inspired programming . The School also seeks to reach audiences that normally do not have access to classical music through its regular performances and special events.
Pictured Above: Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.