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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Admirable Artists: Exclusive Interview with Mover and Shaker Georgia Shreve: Composer, Philosopher, Writer, Playwright and One of the First Female Investment Bankers Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

Georgia Shreve

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In 2012, Mover and Shaker Georgia Shreve completed her Masters degree in Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her thesis, Creating Creativity, focused on enhancing creativity. She recently lectured at Penn on Creativity in the Arts.

Ms. Shreve’s setting of the T.S. Eliot poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," was performed at Symphony Space last January by the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. The New York Times called it an "expansive, psychologically pointed setting of [the poem] in an artfully blended performance.”

The orchestrated version of this piece, along with her Piano Concerto, will be performed at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall on May 3rd of this year. 
She is already planning her next composition, hopefully a setting of a poem by Wallace Stevens.  One smart cookie, Georgia is a multi-talented dynamo that is one of the most underrated individuals we have met and we are absolutely thrilled to inaugurate Admirable Artists with her.  Peachy Deegan interviewed Georgia Shreve for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: We are so impressed with your commitment to academics and constant interest in bettering your education. What motivates you in this arena and what do you love about learning?
Georgia Shreve: 
Both my schools and my parents fostered the love of learning. Continual learning helps us grow and evolve.

How many degrees do you have now, and where are they from?
I have 4 degrees and they are from Stanford, Brown, Columbia, and Penn.

What degrees would you like to pursue in the future?
I would like to finish my M.F.A. at Columbia.

Tell our readers about your upcoming concert please.
My music will be performed by Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble on May 3rd at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.

What inspires you when composing?
When I write vocal music I am inspired by the words, often those of great poets, sometimes of my own. For instrumental music, I am inspired by the words of Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Debussy and others.

What processes do you go through when composing?
In composing I start with a rough sketch, then refine it, then finally orchestrate it.

What would surprise most people about your musical career?
I did not excel in music when I was young, preferring to compose rather than practice. I only gained confidence when studying classical singing.

What are your philosophies in general like today?
I believe in the basic tenets of Positive Psychology–such as the importance of values and character strengths in developing well-being–as developed by my professor Martin Seligman.

Do you miss investment banking at all and if you did it today what product would you like to create?
I gained a lot of poise and confidence from investment banking. My hope is to consult with business, schools, and individuals on creativity, which I have both studied and practiced.

How is our friend Mover and Shaker Mitzi Perdue have you seen her recently?
Mitzi, though I miss having her in NYC, is doing great, generous and brilliant as ever, and we are in constant touch.

What are you proudest of and why?
I am proudest of the pieces that will be featured in my concert.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
My dream is to have one of the musicals I have written (book, lyrics and music) produced.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
I won the Stanford Magazine fiction competition and other honors in screenwriting and music.

What one word best describes you and why?
The best word for me is creativity.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
I was unknowingly talking to Bette Midler and started to talk about Bette Midler!

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
I think I would like to be Stephen Sondheim for a day.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with Virginia Woolf.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I have contributed to a number of cultural institutions, mainly in the area of music studies.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
I love finding out anything about fashion or new restaurants.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I am single and eligible.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Please contact me at

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