2021 Susan McIntosh Lloyd Award: The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music

Rupert, Alexis, Will, Bakari, Luba and Marta at The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, photo by Michel Petit

ACMP is pleased to announce The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music as the 2021 recipient of its annual Susan McIntosh Lloyd Award for Excellence and Diversity in Chamber Music Education. Susan McIntosh Lloyd was a passionate amateur chamber violist and long-time ACMP Board Member and newsletter editor for 21 years (before Kitty Benton) with a distinguished academic career. Since she published a number of books about progressive education, it is therefore fitting that ACMP presented an award in her name to Apple Hill, which has been at the forefront of progressive chamber music education since 1971.

I had planned to present the award in person at Apple Hill’s 50th Anniversary Open House this past August, but Tropical Storm Henri foiled my plans. I finally had the opportunity to meet with Apple Hill’s Executive Director Leonard Matczynski to present the award to him on Zoom on November 22, 2021. A fascinating conversation ensued. Here is a video of the actual presentation of the award and some excerpts from our conversation about the shared mission of our respective organizations:

Stephanie Griffin presents the Susan McIntosh Lloyd Award to Apple Hill’s Executive Director Leonard Matczynski

The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music has been a trailblazer in diversity and inclusion in chamber music education. Well before these words became common catch phrases, Apple Hill was committed to the mission of equal access to chamber music education for EVERYONE, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or even playing level. I know that many ACMP members have had transformational experiences at Apple Hill over the years, and I was particularly inspired by Lenny’s story about an accomplished defense lawyer who had never lost a case: he went to Apple Hill as an adult beginner and said that the experience was one of the hardest things he had ever done, but also the most rewarding! 

Like ACMP, Apple Hill is a US-based nonprofit with a truly international reach and mission. In 1988 they launched “Playing for Peace,” a program bringing together chamber musicians in areas of conflict, including Palestine/Israel, Northern Ireland, Turkey, the former Soviet Union, among others. Apple Hill also actively seeks out international participants for its summer workshops in New Hampshire.

Apple Hill partners with a wide range of community music organizations in an innovative scholarship program to ensure the participation of underserved youth in its summer programs. Among these partners are Community Music Works, the Juilliard Music Advancement Program (MAP), and Project STEP in Boston. 

Speaking of Project STEP, after fourteen years as Executive Director of Apple Hill, Leonard Matczynski will be stepping down in March 2022 and passing the baton to Project STEP’s Artistic Director, Javier Caballero who has been involved with Apple Hill as a student, camp coordinator and coach over the past 23 years. ACMP welcomes Javier and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration in the years to come!

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