"remarkable" - The New York Times
"an executive" - The Los Angeles Times
JD Hixson is an adventurer and coach.
He explores the extraordinary possibilities and potential that still lurk in this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world and the mysteries, wonders and marvels that empower.
As a coach, he works with a range of clients, from performing artists to biologists with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, feral attorneys, jaded senior executives at Fortune 500 corporations and thought-leading surgeons. He is currently coach-in-training at Unbeatable Mind™.
He began life as an artist/adventurer earning his high school diploma and bachelor degree from the NC School of the Arts, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School, and then pursuing conducting studies with Jorma Panula in Europe and Russia. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with some of the most revered classical music, dance and theatre artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Among his adventures, he has performed as soloist in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and on the greatest stages of Europe. He was principal clarinetist of New York’s Jupiter Symphony under Jens Nygaard. He has been conductor and répétiteur in professional productions of bel canto opera featuring leading international vocal stars, conducted the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with NY Philharmonic concertmaster Charles Rex as soloist, served as North American Cultural Ambassador to Costa Rica and the Musical Director of the New York Theatre Ballet, played Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, with Pierre Boulez conducting, and Brahms Sonatas with Vladimir Ashkenazy at the piano, conducted the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in works of Bartok, Debussy and Sibelius wielding the baton himself in the former haunts of Stalin and, on the side, pioneered global projects in the fields of internet technology and international data analysis. He has met and performed for Nelson Mandela, John McCain, Henry Kissinger and countless other VIPs while, during the day, he would bring music to those in hospitals, child cancer wards, maximum security psychiatric wards and AIDS and drug rehab clinics. Other nights, he could be found playing in the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio providing music for new choreography, or in the pit for new productions with the Limón Dance Company.
When 9/11 hit, he began to focus working on the technology and business side of things and collaborated extensively with Arts & Business Councils throughout the US, forging relationships with leaders in both fields, presenting workshops and seminars throughout the country on cutting-edge creative and innovative business practices. He has served as creative consultant to The Roundabout Theatre, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Jazz at Lincoln Center and lectured on creative marketing strategies at New York University. It was during this time he also began pursuing serious studies in the zen breathing practice of shakuhachi, making frequent trips to Kyoto over the course of fifteen years and continuing.
Underlying it all, the constant theme has been a passion for creativity and innovation, regardless of the field - sport, the arts, business or education - and the iconoclastic thinkers that introduce disruptive technologies that make life just a bit more engaging. Currently on the last lap leading into his 50th birthday, he is now mostly interested in living the life of an adventure athlete that was less available as a professional musician - with the idea that as a result, his memoirs might prove a bit more engaging.
Living in Tokyo for well over a decade, his days are filled with coaching and running the hills of the vast metropolitan city, training for the moments when he can get out again into the countryside and mountains to pursue his deep passion for trail running in nature.