In addition to her engagements as recitalist, orchestra soloist, and chamber artist, Ms. Vered created and served as Artistic Director of the Rutgers University’s “Summerfest” series, an ambitious and innovative summer festival project designed to span the full spectrum of performing and visual arts.
This multi-media approach is very much a part of Ms. Vered’s artistic philosophy.
Ms. Vered conceived and produced more than twenty unusual programs that were related thematically to “Summerfest” theatrical presentations and art exhibits.
These programs received national attention, and were soon being presented in New York City at the 92nd Street Y and Merkin Hall, under the title “Music from Summerfest,” during winter seasons, and in the summer of 1991 “Music from Summerfest” branched out to a third venue with a series of eight concerts produced by Ms. Vered in the Hamptons of Long Island.
By 1993, Ms. Vered was also producing summer concerts at Long Island’s Sag Harbor, and established a permanent summer music festival in the Hamptons of Long Island.
Among the most popular and innovative of “Summerfest” programs produced by Ms. Vered were those in the series entitled “In Praise of Women,” which celebrated the achievements of women in the arts.
Some of the star guests include: Andre Watts, J. Gutierez, Michel Barrett, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Touyo String Quartet and many others.
As Artistic Director for “SummerFest,” Ms. Vered founded the Ken Boxley Performance Institute at Rutgers, an intensive three-week program devoted to preparing qualified young artists for new or expanded concert careers.
A teacher in the great masterclass tradition, Ilana Vered urges the need for the widest possible cultural exposure for those who pursue careers as concert artists.
“No matter how naturally gifted, a musician must bring to his interpretations a richness, a cultural sophistication that often grows out of extra-musical experiences.
“These experiences can generate a mysterious process of artistic generation which can lend depth–even profundity–to an interpretation.”
Robin Hall speaks highly of her in his program ‘Pianoforall’ where he says of Ilana Vared as one the most influential and greatest pianist of all time. If you’d like to know more about Robin Hall’s program then check out this Pianoforall review by John Simon.
A painter in her own right, Ms. Vered harbors a special affinity with the visual arts and this may explain her acute sense of musical architecture as well as the wide tonal palette she employs in her performances.
Ilana Vered believes that a musician’s art is influenced and shaped by extra-musical experiences, she is also convinced that the artist, as citizen, has a responsibility to the community at large.
In 1981 Ms. Vered became the first President of “Artists to End Hunger,” a coalition of leading performers dedicated to the elimination of malnutrition among inner-city families and the struggle against famine in third-world countries.
Although Ms. Vered has since resigned as President of “Artists to End Hunger,” she remains active in its fund-raising and lobbying activities.