Chamber Music America Names Kevin Kwan Loucks CEO
New York, NY (August 11, 2021)—After an extensive national search, Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network of ensemble music professionals, has named Kevin Kwan Loucks as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1, 2021.
A Juilliard-trained concert pianist, arts entrepreneur, and nonprofit executive, Loucks brings over 15 years of national and international music and performing arts expertise to CMA. He will work closely with the Board and staff to fulfill the organization’s mission of developing, strengthening, and supporting the ensemble music community.
“In addition to his leadership experience and demonstrated commitment to the field, Kevin impressed the search committee with his wide-ranging background in business development, artistic and program planning, fundraising, and strategic management,” said Mimi Hwang, Chair of CMA’s Board of Directors. “He is enthusiastic about continuing CMA’s important work advocating for the arts and working toward racial equity, while bringing new ideas that will help invigorate the field.”
With a strong background in strategy and business development, Loucks has implemented a broad range of initiatives designed to support and empower artists and creators. He created the Music Academy of the West’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Residential to help artists cultivate formal business skills, and has consulted for the organization’s Alumni Enterprise Awards, which supports audience development, education, social justice, and technology ventures. He teaches portfolio development, strategic management, and entrepreneurship at Chamber Music | OC’s Pre-College Program, and has presented leadership seminars at Boston University, The Juilliard School, Texas Christian University, and UCLA. As a strategic consultant, he has worked with individuals, ensembles, and organizations, earning his clients media attention from Classic FM, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and WQXR.
Loucks previously served as the Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. In this cross-functional role, he advanced the organization’s growth agenda by supporting activities related to institutional strategy, fund development, corporate partnerships, and new initiatives. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he secured new funding through individual solicitations, corporate, and foundation support, and led “Making Music Essential,” the organization’s first Virtual Gala, as well as “The Music Plays On,” a two-night Gala event celebrating a post-Covid return to live concerts. Prior to that, he served as Director of Innovation and Program Development at Music Academy of the West, where his work creating the Sing! Program, a free, after-school choral music initiative serving hundreds of students from over thirty schools in Santa Barbara County, earned him recognition from the California State Legislature.
As Co-Founder and President of Chamber Music | OC, Loucks, with violinist Iryna Krechkovsky, championed classical music in the greater Orange County area through a three-tiered approach of performance, education, and community engagement. Anchored by its nationally recognized Pre-College Program, the organization’s programs reach thousands of Southern California residents annually and have helped cultivate new audiences for classical music through business and community partnerships and support from civic leaders. Recently named the final commissioning partner for the Kronos Quartet’s 50 for the Future project, Chamber Music | OC will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with a concert debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2022.
“As a lifelong chamber musician and arts entrepreneur, I am honored to be leading Chamber Music America into a new chapter of growth and expansion,” said Loucks. “This appointment comes at a critical time for artists, creators, educators, managers, presenters, and organizations that support our vibrant national arts economy, and I look forward to utilizing my skills and experience to create new opportunities for CMA and its membership community. I am eager to work with everyone as we meet the challenges of a post-Covid performing arts landscape together.”
A founding member of the award-winning ensemble Trio Céleste, Loucks has performed internationally at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Prösels Castle in Italy, and Seoul Arts Center. He was a top prize winner at the Schlern International Competition in Italy and has earned accolades from the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in Boston and the American Prize in Piano Performance. He has been featured in live performances on National Public Radio, CBC Radio 2, Classical KUSC, the Public Broadcasting Service, KABC-TV Los Angeles, and the Korean Broadcasting System.
Loucks earned a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, where he served as teaching assistant for the Emerson String Quartet. In 2017, he earned an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University, and a Professional Certificate in Strategic Marketing Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Executive Education Program. He was named one of Stony Brook University’s Distinguished 40 Under 40 Alumni in 2018.
Loucks succeeds Margaret M. Lioi, who is retiring after leading CMA for 21 years.
Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop, strengthen, and support the chamber music community. With a membership of nearly 6,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions—including western and non-western classical, contemporary, jazz, and evolving genres. CMA provides its members with grant programs, consulting services, access to instrument and other insurances, conferences, seminars, and several publications including Chamber Music magazine and the weekly e-newsletter, Accent.