Maria Coldwell, Executive Director of Early Music America, to step down in September 2012

29 May 2012 [SEATTLE, WA] — Maria Coldwell, Executive Director of Early Music America, has announced her decision to step down in September 2012, after ten years of leading the national arts service organization. A musicologist by training, as well as early music performer, educator, and concert presenter, Coldwell has brought Early Music America to new programmatic and financial heights over the past decade.“Maria’s vision, leadership, organizational and administrative skills, knowledge of our field, ability to build important relationships, and so much more, are beyond mere praise. The Board’s debt to her is enormous, as is our gratitude,” said Bob Johnson, EMA Board President.In 2010-11, Early Music America celebrated its 25th Anniversary, with special publications and a new Young Performers Festival, presented in Boston in June 2011. The Festival included 15 concerts by college and university early music ensembles, as well as special presentations and networking events for the 250 student participants. “Supporting young people and building up the future of early music in North America has been my top priority,” said Coldwell. Over the past decade, EMA has presented 5 national competitions for emerging artists. Under Coldwell’s leadership, scholarship programs have increased fivefold, and several new educational and outreach grant programs have been established. Early Music America magazine, EMA’s quarterly publication, has increased significantly in size and circulation. The organization’s small endowments have also increased substantially over the past decade, in spite of the financially challenging times.

Maria Coldwell received her Ph.D. in music history from Yale in 1979 and is a medievalist who has published various scholarly articles. She won the Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Society in 1981. She taught music history at Yale University and the University of Chicago. After moving to Seattle in 1987, she served for three years as Executive Director of Seattle Camerata, a “chamber music in historic sites” series, and then as Executive Director of the Early Music Guild of Seattle for eight years (1991-99). She returned to academia for 3 years as Program Manager for the University of Washington’s Division of Educational Outreach, administering programs in nonprofit management and various arts areas, before taking the E.D. position with Early Music America in 2002. Coldwell plays Baroque flute and has sung with St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir for 25 years. She is currently a member of the Vestry at St. Mark’s, and she has served on the boards of the Early Music Guild, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Tudor Choir, and Early Music America; she has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Early Music America
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 3,000 members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. 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. For more information, contact Early Music America at 206-720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT , or visit our web site at

Patrick Nugent, Publicity Director
(206) 720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT;

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