Natalie B., 23 – FUNDED

Natalie B. is an avid performer, teaching artist, and collaborator. In 2018, this Paliwal Club of 100 Music Scholar alos founded the Magari Ensemble (magariensemble.org) to re-think the traditional classical music concert experience by presenting interdisciplinary and purpose-driven concert events — and she has another exciting initiative in store!

Natalie currently attends the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, pursuing her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance. She previously earned her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory.

What is your professional dream?

My dream is to make classical music more accessible through performance and teaching.

What does being in the Paliwal Club of 100 mean to you? 

The Paliwal Club is supporting women who are eager to forge their path in the music industry and I am honored to join this community of support. I am a violinist and non-profit founder in classical music, passionate about bringing creatives together in one space to create unique concert experiences. Having my work funded means that I will be able to reach more students, composers, musicians, dancers, painters, and all types of artists.

Women are underrepresented in the S.T.E.A.M. (science, tech, arts or math) fields and music industry. How can we change this? 

One of my violin teachers is a successful orchestral musician, having held her position in a major American orchestra for over 40 years. In our lessons, she would tell me about what it was like coming here as an immigrant and trying to win a job. She began playing as a freelance musician, but it was not until orchestras started holding blind auditions that she was awarded her current job. When the curtain went up in these auditions, women started to be accepted into the orchestra.

We have certainly come a long ways since this time — many women hold tenured positions in major orchestras across the country. But still a problem persists: Where are the women leaders? I’ve noticed that more often than not, the musicians sitting in the first ring by the conductor, are men.

For decades, women have been forging a path for other women to hold positions in the orchestra, and I look forward to continuing their legacy and empowering future generations of women. This change starts with education. I was lucky to have two female teachers that profoundly influenced my development as a violinist, musician, and person. It is my mission to return this gift to future students by teaching and creating accessible resources for students.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

Classical music presents a high barrier of entry, and forging a path that goes against the grain of tradition, is even harder. I want to leave a lasting impact on this industry by presenting events that bring classical music to the masses. Through my work with the Magari Ensemble, I am actively building a future in classical music that is not just shaped by tradition and history, but by the artists of our time.

This world is expensive and supported primarily by donors and grants. Every dollar of support means the world and reaffirms the work I am doing to support the industry and the talented female artists in it. Studying this art form and experiencing the community around it has changed my life, and I want to share that experience with others.

How will this grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

This year, I am launching a new initiative within the Magari Ensemble with my colleague and friend — Subject to Change: New works for Violin Duo.

Our mission is to commission, perform, record, and publish new works by female and gender minority composers. We are working closely with the composers we commission to make sure their voice is translated as they imagine it. We are compiling a library of resources that will be accessible to young students and professionals alike. We are filling a gap in the repertoire that exists for two violins. I could not be more excited for the work we will do in future years as we work to leave a legacy that will educate and inspire the next generation of female musicians.