Zach Manzi is the Co-Artistic Director and clarinetist of Conduit, a group that is currently in residence at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami as the Knight Fellowship Ensemble.

Conduit’s objective in this fellowship is to design and produce three alternative concert formats for millennial-aged audiences in Miami. In creating the alternative formats, Condit is using a creative approach to problem solving called design thinking. This approach is creative approach to developing experiences rooted in empathy for audiences, and involves observing and interviewing target audience members, generating numerous ideas about new kinds of experiences for them, testing the ideas with prototypes, and producing full-scale pilot performances. Conduit will be commissioning several new works, completing a certification in foundations of design thinking with IDEO U, traveling for performances and festivals, getting to know millennials in Miami, mentoring undergraduate students at Frost, and sharing their experiences on Medium.

Zach is also the bass clarinetist in Nu Deco Ensemble, Miami’s 21st century genre-bending orchestra, which performs original works, classics, and collaborations with artists such as Ben Folds, Kishi Bashi, and Jacob Collier.

Before these positions, Zach played three seasons as a Clarinet Fellow at the New World Symphony (NWS) in Miami, where he performed orchestral and chamber music programs and pursued performance and educational projects for new audiences. His most recent project, transmuse, was a musical experience created in collaboration with transgender community in South Florida to celebrate the trans experience, sourcing stories from trans people and fusing them with music to create a space to bring the community together. In the 2016-17 season, he designed and produced a full-orchestra concert for NWS called DIMENSIONS, an interactive performance geared toward a young audience that had no previous experience with classical music. This program empowered audience members to explore many different ways of listening through the orchestra's favorite pieces of music through extramusical creative activity including writing, drawing, and crafting paper models in order to discover their own pathway into classical music. Zach co-created and produced the informal educational webisode series "NWS Offstage," in which Fellows give tips about being healthy and productive musicians to high school music students. He was also a co-creator of the New World Symphony x Pratt Institute collaboration BLINK, BURN., which showed at Art Basel Miami 2017.

Along with NWS Creative Director and designer Siggi Bachmann, Zach is the co-creator of Audience Experience Design, a design thinking toolkit tailored for artist-entrepreneurs and performing arts organizations to practice strategic innovation in audience engagement. The first version of this toolkit will be available soon, and in addition to using the method in his own work, Zach will be leading workshops at university music schools and conservatories beginning in the 2018-19 academic year (sign up here to receive info when it's available). Zach has presented workshops on design thinking for live experiences at Venture Café Miami and the Maven Leadership Collective, and has been invited to speak at national and international conferences about creating a thriving future for classical music, including the Classical:NEXT conference in Rotterdam and TEDxCoconutGrove in Miami.

As an undergraduate, Zach was one of twenty students to be awarded a Morse Teaching Artist Fellowship, with which he taught music to third graders in a New York City public school during the 2014-15 academic year. The students in his classes explored classical music as a key to unlocking intuition through reflective activities and self-directed projects. He also served as a clarinet mentor in the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra.

Before moving to Miami, Zach performed regularly in New York as a freelancer. Most recently, he has performed in summer festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Lucerne Festival Academy, ChamberFest Dubuque, and Madison New Music Festival, and received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School.

Zach writes about innovation in the performing arts on his Medium profile. Photos on this page taken by Jiyang Chen, Jarrett McCourt, and TEDxCoconutGrove.

Contact Zach at the bottom of this page.

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by Zach Manzi

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Zach is available for speaking engagements and can be contacted at the form below. Past engagements include talks and workshops at national and international organizations and conferences, such as:

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