John Schwerbel
John Schwerbel Jazz BFA 14 Artistic Planning Coordinator, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

When I entered CalArts I thought I was only interested in performing, but two amazing teachers and mentors, David Roitstein and Lauren Pratt, widened my scope of possibilities. I learned concert production from Lauren, who hired me to produce the Charlie Haden concert at REDCAT, as well as the concert at the Wild Beast honoring the 25th anniversary of the partnership between Capitol Records and CalArts. For Charlie, I was in charge of logistics such as managing the band, leading rehearsals, helping him program the repertoire, and I just fell in love with producing music events as an art, in and of itself. Immediately after graduation I took an internship with the L.A. Philharmonic, worked with the L.A. Opera for a short time, and now, I have a full-time position with The L.A. Phil, which, of all major orchestras, is perhaps the most forward-thinking and adventurous in terms of interdisciplinary multimedia productions.

I don’t see artistic planning or music production, or performance as separate. They’re all very much one and the same, because at the end of the day, the audience walks out of Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Hollywood Bowl or the Wild Beast at CalArts having had a moving experience that has changed them in a fundamental way. So, regardless of what side I’m working on, whether I’m collaborating with the artists, going over scores with soloists, working with their managers, or executing concerts, it’s all art and it’s all having an affect on an audience.