Study at NEC

Director of Collaborative Learning, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dan Berkowitz is the Director of Collaborative Learning at The Philadelphia Orchestra. Dan oversees all educational and community initiatives and is responsible for their redesign. Under his leadership, the Orchestra has adopted a new vision learning focused on education, wellbeing, access, and research. From 2010-15, Dan built Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at the Los Angeles Philharmonic–one of the nation’s premier El Sistema-inspired programs. In 2014, Dan was named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for Education.

Under Dan's leadership, YOLA grew from serving 160 students to serving over 700 students at three sites (EXPO, HOLA, and LACHSA). Students received 12-15 hours of weekly instruction for 43 weeks each year. In 2014, YOLA saw its first cohort of graduating high school seniors and offered one exceptional graduate the YOLA Citizenship Award—a college scholarship of $10,000. They also launched YOLA camp, a 7-day overnight camp focused on leadership and intensive musical training. As of 2014, YOLA employed over 30 teaching artists and staff, with the support of over 50 volunteers and mentors. Dan and YOLA also regularly welcomed domestic and international visitors who wished to see El Sistema-inspired programming in action, including the programming at Heart of Los Angeles led by Christine Witkowski ’10 between 2010 and 2015.

Philadelphia Orchestra press release

Forbes magazine profile

Photo: Matthew Imaging