Name: John Austin Clark
Attended GSA: 2000
Discipline: Vocal Music
Colleges: Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (Cleveland, OH); McGill University (Montréal, Québec)
Years Attended: 2001-2005 (Oberlin); 2005-2007 (McGill)
Degrees: Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Oberlin); Master of Music in Harpsichord Performance (McGill)
Current Home: Louisville, KY
A Louisville native, John Austin Clark has settled back in his hometown as a performer, vocal coach, accompanist, and co-founder of Bourbon Baroque, Louisville’s period instrument ensemble (for more on Bourbon Baroque, visit www.bourbonbaroque.com).
“It has been an honor and privilege to return to my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to start a dream that was planted during my studies at Oberlin. While at Oberlin, I fell in love with the organic sounds of period instruments, a pre-industrial sound that evokes a pure tone more in tune to the rhetoric and affect of the Baroque genre. The concept of music pervading a society with composers, dancers, court and church musicians bustling about excited me, and I thought, "Why can't we recreate the application of this acoustical sound in the gardens and structures of modern day Louisville, a city steeped in history and artistry?"
"My business partner, baroque violinist Nicolas Fortin from Québec, Canada, and I have jointly created a collective of musicians from around the world who come together throughout the season to create historically informed music that is seldom performed and therefore rarely heard. The baroque era certainly embraced the concept of inter-related arts experiences for all of society. This "melting pot of art forms" idea has always intrigued me, and I think experiences like GSA created this intrigue."
"Much like the baroque, GSA embraces all art forms. You are among dancers, painters, actors, and musicians while studying at GSA. Your art form becomes one of many voices in the language of creative thought. This communal experience reminded me that we are all keepers of fine expression. To immerse oneself in an environment like GSA was an opportunity that I will always cherish. As a professional artist, it is now my responsibility to carry the torch and be an ambassador of the understanding that like the arts culture, we are all filled with talent and together we can create something beautiful.”
You can learn more about The Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts at www.kentuckygsa.com.