Born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Jason Hurwitz realized that he wanted to play the violin at the age of 3 after seeing Itzhak Perlman play on Sesame Street; at age 5, he started in the local Suzuki program. He later became interested in alternative violin styles while in his high school’s Strolling Strings group and in his jobs as a bluegrass fiddler at both Knoebels Amusement Resort and HersheyPark, and continued pushing the violin’s limits throughout college.
Jason earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Miami—where he was Homecoming King and President of the Beta Tau chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia—before landing his dream job as a violinist in the cast of Barrage, the internationally-touring, alternative-violin stage show. During his four years with Barrage (2006-2010), Jason was elected to the position of Performers’ Representative, and, in this capacity, was responsible for all communications and contract negotiations between the cast, management, and the American Federation of Musicians, including the renegotiation of a 3-year touring agreement.
Jason spent the summer of 2010 working in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as the onstage electric violinist in Cirque Productions’ Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. He then returned to the academic world where he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. While in Cincinnati, Jason also worked as the Cultural Programs Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College where he managed an adult music series and a performing arts series for kids and their families.
In the summer of 2011, Jason was hired as the Organizational Development & Corporate Restructuring/Transition Intern at Overture Center for the Arts (Madison, WI) while the organization transitioned from governmental to private, not-for-profit status. His responsibilities included strategic planning, contributing to change management procedures, compiling employment data and job offer packets, and drafting the employee handbook. Jason now works as a Programming and Community Engagement Coordinator at Overture, and is responsible for artist contract negotiation, review, and execution, general artist services, departmental and programmatic budget preparation and maintenance, production and management of the MadCity Sessions concert series, and the development and management of several new community engagement initiatives. He also serves as the CEO-appointed co-chair of Overture’s Interagency Recognition and Core Competencies Council.
In addition to his full-time work at Overture, Jason still finds the time to perform on stage. In 2013, he played the role of The Fiddler in St. Bernard Players’ production of Fiddler on the Roof and played in the pit for Music Theater of Madison’s production of Nevermore, and, in 2014, reprised his role as The Fiddler in the Children’s Theater of Madison’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. He also writes reviews of high school musical productions for Overture’s Tommy Awards program.
Jason was one of only twenty-five people selected to participate in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leadership Institute 2013.