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Emily Krell Named Producer & Managing Director of Merkin Concert Hall


Kaufman Music Center announced this week that Emily Krell has joined the staff as Producer and Managing Director of Merkin Concert Hall. Krell has been working with the Center as an independent producer since 2009, producing the Ecstatic Music Festival, New York Guitar Festival, Tuesday Matinees and other series and events. In her new role as Producer and Managing Director, Krell will continue to produce Kaufman Music Center presentations as well as managing Merkin Concert Hall and other venues within the Center. Working with the curators of Kaufman Music Center series and co-presentations, Krell will play an active role in setting the artistic and strategic agenda for the hall moving forward. 

Says Kaufman Music Center’s Executive Director, Lydia Kontos, “This is the time for someone with the knowledge of the contemporary music scene and the chops to forge creative partnerships and alliances to be on hand full time at the Center. We are deeply engaged in a strategic planning process and welcome Emily’s perspective and imagination to feed the process.”

“Merkin Concert Hall is a fabulous place for living composers to have their work heard, and a home for classical music with an experimental edge alongside the time-tested sounds that work so well here,” says Krell. “I look forward to leveraging this beautiful and technologically equipped performance space, utilizing the considerable artistic resources available both within Kaufman Music Center and city-wide, and continuing to make strides toward being a truly exceptional presenting force.”

Previously the Managing Director for renowned musical innovators So Percussion, Krell was the Producer of Whitney Live, the Whitney Museum of American Art’s live performance series, from 2006 to 2011. Working closely with performing arts curator Limor Tomer, Krell’s major projects at the Whitney included: Off the Wall: Part 2—Seven Works by Trisha Brown (a remounting of seminal early works), a Meredith Monk performance marathon, Christian Marclay: Festival, and Whitney Live: a series highlighting the intersection of performance and installation. Before coming to the Whitney Museum, Emily worked in the General Management department at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on projects including the BAMcafé Live concert series, Sundance Institute @ BAM, Metrotech R&B Festival, BAMkids Film Festival, Eat Drink & Be Literary, and rental events large and small.  Krell has also worked as a manager and producer with artists and organizations including Zs, the Performa Biennial, Trouble (a music and art collective), Real Bushwick at the Beacon Center for Arts & Leadership, WNYC, the Ostrava Center for New Music, Andy Biskin, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

A classically trained violinist, Krell grew up on Long Island and received her B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She returned to New York to work as the Managing Director of new music stalwarts S.E.M. Ensemble, under the direction of Czech composer/conductor Petr Kotik. The first big concert Krell produced in Manhattan was an S.E.M. Ensemble performance right here at Merkin Concert Hall. She recently defected from Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn to arts enclave Maplewood, NJ, where she lives with her husband and daughter.