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Astral Artists Appoints New Executive Director

The Philadelphia-based nonprofit mentoring organization that helps develop careers of classical musicians, announced Lourdes Starr-Demers as its next executive director

Astral Artists Appoints New Executive Director - image attachment

She will begin the position on January 19th, 2021.

Starr-Demers previously served as the Senior Vice President of Artistic Operations at the Curtis Institute of Music, diversifying repertoire and guest artists to include more women and people of color.

She also co-founded Curtis’ Council for Inclusive Excellence, to address systemic racism in Philadelphia, the Curtis community, and the classical music industry as a whole.

“I have tremendous admiration and respect for Astral’s Founder Vera Wilson who, for nearly 30 years, has built an incredible legacy of supporting extraordinarily talented young musicians around the globe,” said Starr-Demers.  “My intent is to steward and grow that legacy by ensuring that the future of Astral remains grounded in its traditions and is guided by a forward-looking vision for the next chapter.”

“I am truly delighted with the Board’s selection of Executive Director,” said Astral’s Founder, Vera Wilson. “Lourdes’ background satisfies what Astral needs in its new leader, as I believe she will be a catalyst for great ideas that will impact the organization, its roster artists, and the communities Astral serves.”

Previous Astral Artists audition winners include violinists Judith Ingolfsson and Soovin Kim and VC Artists Nikki Chooi, Timothy Chooi and Benjamin Beilman.


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