A Celebration of Music and Dance

Immerse yourself in this remarkable cinematic event. The Way Forward is a portrait of a community brimming with talent, energy, and passion that continues to innovate.

Known worldwide as a brilliant conductor, composer, and innovator, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads Colburn’s Conducting Program and will take the helm of the San Francisco Symphony in Fall 2020 as Music Director.

The Way Forward took shape as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world and quickly imposed a new reality for musicians and dancers. In March, the Colburn School began to reimagine the traditional performance-going routine as a new cinematic experience. Faculty, alumni, and students from all units of the school, as well as guest artists, were enlisted to help realize this new vision.

Under the guidance of filmmaker Hamid Shams, The Way Forward was filmed around the world, from Finland to Australia, Spain to Los Angeles. Spanning jazz, classical, vocal, and dance, the film re-imagines the concert-going experience for the digital age. It concludes with Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently, featuring 17,572 singers from 129 countries, ages 5 to 88.

View the Complete Program
 

Expand your experience by supporting Colburn


Bid on one-on-one experiences with artists in The Way Forward, help kick-off our Amplify Series, create a new Jumpstart Dance program, support more scholarship opportunities or try your luck with a raffle ticket.

Proceeds support our expanded equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. Please join us in this important work! Auction ends on July 26.

Support the Next Generation
 

Artists Featured in the Film and Auction

Fabio BidiniFabio Bidini
Recognized as one of today’s most important pianist and pedagogues, Fabio Bidini, the Carol Colburn Grigor Piano Chair, has performed with renowned orchestras and chamber groups around the world.
 
 
Kris BowersKris Bowers
An Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist, Colburn alumnus Kris Bowers has written genre-defying scores for countless television shows and movies, including the Academy Award-winning film Green Book.
 
 
Calidore String QuartetCalidore String Quartet
Praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct,” alumni ensemble Calidore String Quartet has won the grand prize at many of the world’s most prestigious competitions.

Clive GreensmithClive Greensmith
A celebrated teacher and musician, Colburn faculty member Clive Greensmith served as principal cellist in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and spent 15 years as a member of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet.

Jenifer RingerJenifer Ringer
Former principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, Ms. Ringer is one of the most celebrated dancers of her generation. Dancing featured roles from almost the beginning of her 24 year career, she has performed in almost every major American city and around the world.

Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
Known worldwide as brilliant conductor, composer, and innovator, Esa-Pekka Solonen leads Colburn’s Conducting Program and will take the helm of the San Francisco Symphony in Fall 2020 as Music Director.
 
 
HamidShamsHamid Shams
Hamid Shams has been a filmmaker for over 35 years, working on commercials, features films, and more. Most recently, he was the Director of Photography, Producer, and Editor of The Cellist, a 2018 documentary on Gregor Piatigorsky.

Jean-Yves ThibaudetJean-Yves Thibaudet
Colburn Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a Grammy-nominated pianist with an impressive career as a performer and recording artist. He has been the soloist on numerous film scores, including Best Original Score winner Atonement.

Eric WhitacreEric Whitacre
Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of today’s most popular and performed musicians. His works are programmed worldwide by orchestras and choirs, and he has released several chart-topping albums.
 
 

An Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist, Colburn alumnus Kris Bowers has written genre-defying scores for countless television shows and movies, including the Academy Award-winning film Green Book.