Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has been named to the roster of Yamaha Artists, the formalization of a years-long relationship intended to bolster both the artist’s and music company’s global impact on the field of music education.

“The focus that Yamaha places on education makes me incredibly happy,” Whitacre said. “There is scientific data to show that just coming together and playing music makes kids better students in all disciplines; it seems to me that it would be a core part of any curriculum. I’m reminded of the saying that a society becomes great when the elderly plant trees whose shade they know they’ll never enjoy; that feels very much like the effort behind music education to me. It’s building for a future society.”

“Eric is such a force for change and good in this world. We have long been fans of the way he generates empathy and compassion through musical service,” said John Wittmann, senior director, Artist Relations and Education. “His sincere drive to inspire and uplift the humanity perfectly aligns with our own aspirations to improve quality of life through musical expression and enjoyment.

Wittman emphasized Yamaha’s excitement to team with Whitacre “to develop large, impactful projects that bring people together through music.”

The Career of Eric Whitacre

Whitacre’s compositions have been recorded worldwide. His debut album as a conductor on Universal, Light and Gold, topped the charts and won a GRAMMY Award.

In 2010, he debuted the first of his Virtual Choirs, featuring 185 singers from 12 countries. These singers recorded videos of themselves singing to a shared video of Whitacre conducting. They then uploaded them for Whitacre to synchronize and assemble into a single, mass performance. That video went viral. A decade and multiple editions later, his “Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently” featured 17,562 singers from 129 countries. It became the biggest virtual choir ever assembled. To date, the Virtual Choirs have registered over 60 million views and have been seen on global television.

Whitacre also discussed his upcoming plans to contribute to music education.

“I’ve done over 200 master classes since the whole COVID crisis started, some of them literally sat by my Yamaha,” Whitacre said. “I’m going to make a whole master class video series about the creative process. I’ll take 10 or 12 of my pieces, each one of them will get its own video and I’ll break it down and talk about the construction and the machinery that’s working within them and why I wrote them.”

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