How Music Can Save Your Life

Brendan Slocumb, musician, educator, and author of the upcoming novel The Violin Conspiracy is here to tell you how music can save your life— it certainly saved his.

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Bryan Young: Music as a Universal Language

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Bryan Young: Music as a Universal Language

E4: Bryan Young: Music as a Universal Language

Brendan is joined by Bryan Young, touring bassoonist and co-founder of the Poulenc Trio, for a conversation about his experiences as a Black classical musician and tech entrepreneur, the ways he was initially discouraged from pursuing classical music, and his experiences with the criminal justice system (and how music may have literally saved his life).

You can learn more about Bryan Young here.

More about host Brendan Slocumb

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Preorder Brendan’s upcoming debut novel The Violin Conspiracy here!


Bryan tours the US and internationally as bassoonist and co-founder of the Poulenc Trio. Bryan serves as the principal bassoonist of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and is a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis. Bryan studied at the Peabody Conservatory with Linda Harwell and at Yale with Frank Morelli. A winner and finalist in competitions including the Gillet International Bassoon Competition and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Bryan has performed as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra. The Washington Post writes that his playing ‘dances with a lightness and grace uncommon for his instrument,’ and the Baltimore Sun has praised his ‘particularly beautiful playing, technical agility and understated elegance.’

As a musical collaborator and chamber musician, Bryan has toured and performed with violinist Hilary Hahn, clarinetists Anthony McGill, Alexander Fiterstein, and David Shifrin, soprano Hyunah Yu, Guggenheim-winning poet Lia Purpura, and appeared with legendary jazz-leader Cab Calloway in his final performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Bryan has premiered new works written for him by composers Octavio Vazquez, Steven Gerber, Thomas Benjamin and David Fetter, in addition to more than 25 new works he co-commissioned and premiered with the Poulenc Trio. Bryan was selected by the International Double Reed Society to premiere To Earth by composer Roydon Tse, a work commissioned to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary.

Bryan has served on the faculty at Morgan State University. He has been invited as featured lecturer and given masterclasses and workshops at NYU, Princeton, Tulane, Loyola University, Ohio State University, Rutgers, Brigham Young University, University of Texas, University of Arizona, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, San Francisco State University, Regents University, MD Institute College of Art (MICA), and Towson University. He is a recipient of the Yale Alumni Ventures Grant and the UNCF Award for Excellence.

In addition to his musical activities, Bryan founded Intertwine Systems, a healthcare focused software company. At Intertwine, Bryan was featured on the front page of the Baltimore Business Journal as a “mobile software entrepreneur to watch”. As a technologist, Bryan worked with the State of Maryland in collaboration with the University of Maryland and the Alvin Toffler Institute to develop iPad-based software for cardiologists, and with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in conjunction with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to develop new research tools for endocrinologists. Bryan served as a partner at SailTime, a global recreational sailing company, chief technologist at JobJybe, an Austin-based startup focused on business communications, and as Director of Connected Healthcare Solutions for Asymmetrik, a Maryland-based software company. Currently, Bryan is Principal Group Leader for Advanced Health Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at MITRE, the United States’ Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for Health.

Bryan is President of the Board of the Candlelight Concert Society, is a Vice President of the board of Chamber Music America, and a board member at Boulanger Initiative. He is a frequent guest commentator on Maryland's WBJC-FM radio show, Face the Music.

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