The Golden Brick: How a simple, fundamental idea can change the world and push the boundaries of innovation
Grammy-winning musician Eric Whitacre unlocks worlds of creativity, from the kernel of an idea to some of our world's most important innovations. Taking the awe-inspiring grandeur and achievements of NASA's extraordinary Hubble missions and finding within them a story of human endeavour, vision and bravery that made it all possible. The creative process plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our world, informed and enhanced by research and technology, and fuelled to success by curiosity and perseverance.
Maestro Myth: The secret to great leadership
True leadership is so much more than a single, smart, charismatic force. The framework that is baked into the system which processes, grows and creates the required success is the ultimate power behind the throne. Multi-award-winning composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre, looks at the question of trust, and how many of the greatest leaders of our time know that it takes a village to create real success.
Creativity and Connection: The Humanism of Technology
Eric Whitacre is the creator of the Virtual Choir, a digital project that combines thousands of user-submitted videos into a single, stunning choral performance. This global choir transcends geography, class and background: it is a testament to the power of leadership and technology to foster creativity and connection, even in the most challenging circumstances. Eric talk to the rise of organic humanistic online communities and his own creative pathways, inspiring us to unlock that simple, fundamental idea as part of our quest to become our best self, creating something bigger than the sum of its parts.
Finding your voice: Unleashing your creative fire
A creative innovator in the music and technology space, Grammy-winning composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre, digs into man's natural sense of curiosity. Creativity is hard to learn, but enhancing curiosity through teaching ourselves to have an open mind, endlessly questioning premises and exploring opportunity, unlocks a higher level of consciousness and the ability to deliver creative and successful solutions. Embracing the mantra of 'fail big, fail often', Eric explores failure as a positive and often necessary pathway to true innovation.
Eric Whitacre is an excellent choice for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events
If there’s anyone who knows how to capture audiences of all kinds, it’s Grammy Award-Winning composer and conductor, ERIC WHITACRE. With his highly sought-after talks on innovation, motivation, and teamwork, Whitacre’s compelling talks are tailored to each event, whether in-person or virtual with his state-of-the-art home studio. With expert camera work and studio-grade audio equipment, Whitacre shines a powerful light on the artistic process and how to develop skills of creativity applicable to audiences of all kinds. In this professional studio setting, his keynotes and conversations feel personal, and California Polytechnic State University described their virtual event in a rave review: “Although there were a lot of people tuned in, it was very much an intimate conversation between the students and Eric.”
Whitacre has also launched a leading-edge masterclass at his Virtual School, “The Beautiful Mess: Masterclass in Composition and Creativity,” in which he guides students through the “crazy beautiful mess” that is the creative process. A world-renowned voice in creativity and teamwork, Whitacre has helped individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of musical experience as well as teams at venues like Apple, Spotify, Google, World Economic Forum, Price Waterhouse Cooper, and more to advance their creative reasoning and collaboration for maximum impact. For in-person, virtual, and hybrid events, Whitacre is an in-demand expert who creates enlightening and memorable experiences for individuals and organizations.
Eric Whitacre impresses at NAMM, the second largest music show in the world, with his virtual talks
Composer, musician and director of the world largest virtual choir ERIC WHITACRE gave engaging discussions at two sessions of NAMM 2021, the second largest music show in the world. His first session was called “Diversity and Harmony: Ten Years of the Virtual Choir,” which discussed Eric's new upcoming productions and how important virtual music-making has become, as it helps people unify and celebrate together through music. His second talk was “The Golden Brick with Imogen Heap,” which was highly anticipated and focused on creativity. In it, Whitacre shared the creative process he uses to create compositions, using specific constraints that only let him use a few notes right away. This creative process helps him find "the golden brick," which can be used as foundation for his next masterpiece, according to NAMM. Whitacre’s keynote speeches are highly regarded for their unique quality, where he uses his one-of-a-kind fusion of music and interactive multi-media and shares lessons that inject new life into organizations that may feel stuck, uninspired, or overwhelmed by the pace of change; provides insight on transformative innovation and disruptive leadership; and opens audiences' eyes to new ways of creating and collaborating. Whitacre was also recently profiled in the Financial Times, doing a Q&A about life, music, and more.
Virtual Programming: Over 17,500 singers aged 5 to 88 from 129 Countries joined Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 6: “Sing Gently” premiere
Moved by the breadth of the pandemic and effect on society, one of the world’s most performed composers, ERIC WHITACRE, composed a new piece especially for his Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently. 17,572 singers from 129 countries, aged 5–88, recorded their videos to be combined to form Virtual Choir 6. Together they found strength in the simple, collective initiative of the project and saw it as a way to not only replenish from within but also to offer hope and relief for the sadness and suffering of others. Written, filmed and created during lockdown, this marks Whitacre’s largest Virtual Choir to date since his first more than 10 years ago. It is a testament to diversity, accessibility and inclusivity, and much more than a musical project; it’s a community: “With everyone unexpectedly far apart from each other I found myself thinking about the virtues of empathy, community and service, and a new Virtual Choir felt like a deeply human way to address all of those virtues. I tried as best I could to keep the lyrics of ‘Sing Gently’ straightforward and unadorned, to simply say what I felt needed to be said.” Research undertaken in 2018 as part of a collaborative study with Whitacre and University College London into virtual cultural experiences, showed that singing in a Virtual Choir boosts participants’ self-esteem, reduces feelings of social isolation, creates a strong sense of personal agency and promotes better mental health.
Eric Whitacre delivers game-changing keynotes on teamwork and innovation
Grammy Award-Winning composer and conductor ERIC WHITACRE is hailed as “that rare thing, a modern composer who is both popular and original”. He is also a powerful, in-demand speaker at the nexus of art and technology, who offers groundbreaking insights on innovation and teamwork who infuses his presentations with his awe-inspiring Virtual Choir project.
A global phenomenon, the Virtual Choir brings together singers and their love of music from around the world through the new use of technology. What happens is singers record and upload their videos from around the world, and then each one of the videos is synchronized and combined into one single performance that Whitacre conducts. The resulting Virtual Choir is an inspiring music compilation that you have to see and hear to believe. Over time the Virtual Choir has grown from 185 singers to more than 8,000 singers, aged 4-87, from 120 countries, and has been featured on worldwide TV (ABC in the US and BBC in the UK) and been part of major events across the globe including the Olympics and Davos World Economic Forum.
Whitacre's brought his unforgettable combination of speaking and music to the TED conference-- where his talk went viral and racked up over 3.8 million views-- and at events for Google, UNICEF and the United Nations. Drawing on his experience as a conductor and composer, Whitacre illuminates the creative process and reveals how to bring disparate groups together to blend and perform as one.
Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is among today’s most popular musicians. His works are programmed worldwide and his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from more than 145 countries over the last decade. Born in Nevada in 1970, Eric is a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music (New York). He completed his second term as Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2020 having served five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge (UK). In 2021, Eric was named a Yamaha Artist.
His compositions have been widely recorded and his debut album as a conductor on Universal, Light and Gold, went straight to the top of the charts, earning a Grammy. As a guest conductor he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with many of the world’s leading orchestras and choirs in venues from Carnegie Hall (New York) to the Royal Albert Hall (London). Insatiably curious and a lover of all types of music, Eric has worked with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, as well as British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox.
In 2018 his composition, Deep Field, became the foundation for a pioneering collaboration with NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, Music Productions and film-makers 59 Productions. His long-form work The Sacred Veil, a profound meditation on love, life and loss, was premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by the composer, and released on Signum Records. In 2021, Eric launches the Virtual School with its first course “The Beautiful Mess: Lessons in Composition and Creativity”.
A charismatic speaker, Eric Whitacre has given keynote addresses for TED, Apple, Google, the United Nations Speaker’s Program, in education and for numerous global institutions. His collaboration with Spitfire Audio resulted in a trail-blazing vocal sample library, became an instant best-seller and is used by composers the world-over.