a quartet in residence in the concert hall

JOB OPENING: Curator of Music

Applications for this position are now closed.

This search is now closed.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks a curator with expertise in the area of music to join the curatorial team. EMPAC’s curators work in the context of contemporary production and performance practices, which includes the integration of digital technology.

This full-time twelve-month position will be filled on the level of assistant or associate curator, depending on experience.

About The Curatorial Team:

EMPAC’s three curatorial positions are a curator of time-based visual art, a curator of theater/dance, and this position. Curators have an in-depth expertise in their specific discipline. At the same time collaboration within the team makes traditional disciplinary boundaries permeable. Genre-crossing projects and those that combine different media and multiple approaches are all part of the curatorial team’s practice. Discussions, exchanges and advice among EMPAC’s curators are a central part of EMPAC’s approach.

All artistic projects at EMPAC fall within the field of the time-based arts and focus on the intersection of artistic practice with contemporary technology through the utilization of EMPAC’s extensive infrastructure and production expertise.

We are looking for a curator with knowledge in music including the intersection of contemporary artistic practices and technologies; who can reflect on the relationship between tools, aesthetics, and artistic goals; who enjoys exploration and collaboration; who sees an audience as essential to the arts; who seeks to challenge and contribute to a contemporary art program at the oldest technical university in the US; and who is driven by what the arts can offer beyond streamlined entertainment.

About EMPAC:

As part of the university, EMPAC is a research and production center at the intersection of art, science and technology. It is not part of a school or department, there are no faculty positions at EMPAC. The venues and studios are not used for regular classes. The connection between artistic work and academic goals is crucial, but always project and artist specific.

Curatorial and artistic projects are conceived and produced year-round, including production and research residencies, commissions, performances, workshops, and conferences. While researching and producing works at EMPAC, curators may not pursue their own artistic interests and projects but provide their disciplinary expertise toward collaborative genre-crossing projects as part of the curatorial team.

Insight into EMPAC’s artistic program can be found by downloading a PDF of the publication Programming EMPAC, which includes the curatorial program and associated academic programs until 2015 (the second volume of this book will be published soon).


The assistant or associate curator of music develops, implements and manages EMPAC specific programs for residencies, commissions, performances, events, and lectures. As a member of the curatorial team, the curator works in close collaboration with EMPAC’s Director, production teams (audio, video, stage, IT), and administrative teams (Communications, Front of House, Artist Services).

The curator will monitor national and international developments under artistic and intellectual perspectives, and establish and maintain contacts with artists, festivals, and foundations, including pursuing co-production and grant opportunities. The curator is also tasked with the development of programming strategies that engage the academic and campus community of Rensselaer.


Candidates for this position maybe at assistant or associate level, depending on experience. Candidates may be entry level for the curatorial track, preferably with some prior curatorial experience. A solid practical, intellectual, aesthetic, and historical understanding of current directions in music, and experience in the production of musical works is required, including contemporary classical music. The curatorial practice at EMPAC includes taking on tasks as producer.

The candidate must be able to read Western music notation fluently, have a working knowledge of classical harmonic frameworks, and have an understanding or expertise in non-Western and non-classical music cultures. Additionally, knowledge of and experience with digital technology as a compositional, production, and performance tool in both music and the performing and time-based arts is required.

The position allows more or less emphasis and experience in one or all of the listed areas listed above. It is expected that motivation, interest, communication skills and intellectual agility allow the assistant or associate curator to expand and grow in all areas during their tenure at EMPAC.
A bachelor’s degree is required, with a master’s degree in music preferred.

Applications will require a resume (or CV), cover letter, and information for three references. 

Full-time relocation to Troy, NY is required.

November 28, 2018