[ Community Engagement ]

Sebastian Ruth

Sebastian Ruth is a professional musician and educator committed to exploring connections between the arts and social change. Mr. Ruth graduated from Brown University in 1997, where he worked closely with education scholars Theodore Sizer, Mary Ann Clark, and Reginald Archambault on a project exploring the relationship between moral education and music, and with members of the Charleston String Quartet in Brown’s chamber music program. His important teachers have included Lois Finkel, Pamela Gearhart, Eric Rosenblith, Rolfe Sokol, Mela Tenenbaum, and Kim Kashkashian. In 2003, Sebastian studied, under the auspices of a fellowship from The Rhode Island Foundation, in a two-week violin master class with Michele Auclair at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

Mr. Ruth is the Founder and Artistic Director of Community MusicWorks, a nationally-recognized organization that connects professional musicians with urban youth and families in Providence, Rhode Island. As a member of the Providence String Quartet, the organization’s resident ensemble, Sebastian has performed in recent seasons in Providence, Boston, Los Angeles, Banff, and New York, and with members of the Borromeo, Muir, Miro, Orion, and Turtle Island String Quartets, with pianist Jonathan Biss, and violist Kim Kashkashian.

Sebastian serves on the board of the International Musical Arts Institute, and on the advisory boards of the Sphinx Organization and of Music Haven, a non-profit organization in New Haven, Connecticut modeled after Community MusicWorks. In 2012, Sebastian received an honorary doctorate from Brown University, and was named by Strings Magazine as among the 25 most influential people in the string music world.

In 2010, Sebastian visited the White House to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from former First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of Community MusicWorks. Also in 2010, Sebastian learned that he had been selected for the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for “creating rewarding musical experiences for often-forgotten populations and forging a new, multifaceted role beyond the concert hall for the twenty-first-century musician.”