Neeta Helms, the president of Classical Movements in Old Town, was named one of Musical America’s top 30 professionals of 2021, according to a news release.
Classical Movements organizes tours of classical music ensembles around the world. In 2020, with concerts cancelled or put on hold due to the pandemic, Classical Movements shifted gears and started hosting outdoor concerts in the “secret garden” behind its Old Town headquarters at 711 Princess St. The first entry in the concert series, which took place in June 2020, was the first live classical music concert since the start of the pandemic. The concerts remain a huge hit with residents and local classical music fans and regularly feature musicians from renowned national symphonies.
Helms also oversaw other pandemic-era projects, including virtual music education programs, a live streamed concert of India and a cross-country celebration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration.
Helms was recognized as part of a special report from Musical America, one of the country’s oldest classical music magazines, titled “The Pandemic: Meeting the Moment.” This year’s report honored those “whose heroic efforts have helped to sustain the performing arts during one of the most difficult and often tragic times in modern history — the pandemic.” Helms was named alongside acclaimed musicians such as Jennifer Koh and the leaders behind the San Diego Symphony and Seattle Opera, according to the release.