UWF in the Community

Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series continues with Eric Whitacre, Grammy-winning composer and conductor

The Experience UWF Downtown 2015-16 Lecture Series continues with its fourth and final installment of the year on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Eric Whitacre, Grammy-winning composer and conductor, will present his lecture, “Creativity and Connection: The Humanism of Technology,” at the Museum of Commerce on 201 E. Zaragoza St. in downtown Pensacola. The free event will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m., and the lecture will begin at 6 p.m.

Whitacre has released several chart-topping albums, including 2011’s bestselling “Light and Gold.” He has conducted choral and instrumental concerts globally, including sold-out concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to several collaborations with Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, he has worked with British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox.

Whitacre’s concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of professional and amateur musicians alike. His innovative Virtual Choirs, where singers can record and upload music to be combined into a single performance, have united singers from more than 110 different countries.

MG_0343v21-533x800Whitacre has given many keynote addresses for Fortune 500 companies and global institutions including Apple, Google, the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations Speaker’s Programme. He also has given two main stage TED talks. Whitacre is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. This year, he completed a five-year term as Visiting Fellow and Composer in Residence at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

In addition to the public lecture, Whitacre will be working directly with UWF music and theatre students during his stay in Pensacola. Activities with the students will include a masterclass, as well as a Q&A about the business of music and his creative process.

“Eric Whitacre is a choral composer of celebrity status,” said Dr. Peter Steenblick, director of choral activities at UWF. “In the 21st century, all musicians must possess the essential skill of self-marketing. Whitacre has not only become an effective marketer, but has paved the way for other composers to become their own publishers and distributors. He is extremely active on social media and has become a global sensation. The UWF Singers are thrilled to have an opportunity to welcome Mr. Whitacre to their rehearsal space. We thank the UWF administration for making this visit possible.”

Whitacre is the final speaker in the four-part Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series in 2015-16. The series promotes the value of liberal arts in contemporary life by showcasing outstanding UWF faculty, as well as scholars of national prominence who illustrate the essential role of the liberal arts in building and sustaining contemporary culture. For more information, visit the Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series website.