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Benjamin Dunham

Bringing a notable tenure to a close, Benjamin Dunham, editor of Early Music America magazine, will retire after completing the Fall 2014 issue. Dunham was appointed editor in 2002 and has overseen expansion of the magazine to serve the needs of a growing membership. During his tenure, the quarterly magazine expanded its size by more than a third and went from a partial to a full-color format throughout its pages.

As editor, Dunham oversaw the introduction of new feature sections including a book review section, a point-of-view feature called 'In Conclusion', interviews with leading figures in the field, and first-person reports by ensemble directors on innovative projects in the field of historical performance. In the past year the magazine has developed and introduced an accompanying on-line version to further serve the needs of its members.

Dunham was a member of the original steering committee formed in 1985 for EMA and served on its board of directors frequently since 1988 until assuming the editorship of the magazine.

Thomas Kelly, past-president of Early Music America and chairman of its publications committee, offers: 'Ben Dunham has been an important voice in early music, and in Early Music America, for many years now. We will miss his creative and imaginative input; we thank him deeply, and we wish him well'.

'It's been twenty-four years editing American Recorder and then Early Music America from my home in Marion, Massachusetts', said Dunham, who doubled as designer for the magazines. 'I cherish the memory of working with so many outstanding performers and writers, and I look forward to developing new projects in the field of music and the performing arts'.

'While we will miss Ben's leadership, we will welcome a new editor with the Winter 2014 edition and look forward to his or her vision', said Ann Felter, EMA's Executive Director. The search for a new editor is underway.

Ben Dunham has enjoyed an active career in arts administration and communication, serving as executive vice president of the US National Music Council, executive director of the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, director of public relations and publications for the American Symphony Orchestra League (now League of American Orchestras), assistant editor of the Music Educators Journal, and editor of American Recorder magazine. In 1981, as the first executive director of Chamber Music America, he was named 'Arts Administrator of the Year' by the Arts Management publication. He has served on the boards of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the American Recorder Society, and is a member of the Avery Fisher Artist Program Recommendation Board. As a consultant, he has worked on a number of regional and national projects, including the design of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation Period Instrument Orchestra Program. He has performed on recorder and viola da gamba as a member of early music ensembles in Washington DC, and in the South coast region of Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife, flutist Wendy Rolfe, and their son Samuel, a student at the College of William and Mary.

Early Music America serves and strengthens the early music community in North America and raises public awareness of early music. EMA was founded in 1985 and provides its three thousand members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. In addition, EMA produces the Young Performers Festival, awards grants and scholarships, and honors three distinguished individuals in the field of early music annually. EMA publishes the quarterly magazine Early Music America. 'Early music' includes Western music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, performed on period instruments in historically informed styles.

Information: www.earlymusicamerica.org

Posted: 3 October 2013 by Patrick Nugent

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