Board of Advisors

Seth Novatt – Founder

sethSeth Novatt is the founder of the Adolf Busch Award. Prior to retiring in February of 2015, Seth worked in the financial industry for over thirty years in a variety of executive level positions. While working for Oppenheimer and Co., CIBC and Alliance Bernstein, Seth dealt with both Institutional and Private Clients, and served on several of the senior management committees of both CIBC and Oppenheimer. A lifelong devotee of the arts, Seth is also a serious amateur violinist and is now learning the trade of violin bow making at Salchow and Sons in NYC.

Seth has served on numerous boards and committees, including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, MusicBridge, the Kaufmann Center for the Arts (92Y), the Crested Butte Music Festival, and the Morgan Library.

Seth has a BA from Clark University, and an MBA from Columbia University. He also worked on a Masters of Musicology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Russell DaSilva: Hogan Lovells – Partner

russellRussell DaSilva is an attorney in the State of New York, and is a partner in the New York office of Hogan Lovells, an international law firm, where he handles cross-border financial transactions. His NGO work includes participating as a trustee or board member of FARM Africa (USA), The International Bar Association Foundation and Princeton-in-Asia. He also is a life-long devotee of the arts. Russell holds a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Justin Lipton: Marakon – Senior Associate


Justin Lipton works in business strategy and operations, most recently as an Associate Principal at Marakon, a boutique strategy consultancy. He is a member of the Columbia Business school class of 2019. Outside of work, he plays and writes music with a NYC-based band. Justin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College, with a B.A. in Politics.

David Ludwig: Composer, Curtis Institute Faculty


David Ludwig was recently selected by NPR as one of the Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the world. He has worked in a wide range of genres and media that includes works for chamber ensembles, orchestra, chorus, and music for feature films. In 2013 his choral piece, “The New Colossus,” was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet for his second inauguration.

Ludwig has written for some of the most prominent musicians and ensembles in the field including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, National and Kansas City Symphony Orchestras. Last season included performances with the Dover and Borromeo quartets, the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, and an eight-orchestra consortium commission of a violin concerto for his wife, acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova. An award-winning film composer, Ludwig scored Michael Almareyda’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (Lionsgate), produced by Anthony Katagas (Twelve Years a Slave) and starring Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, and Dakota Johnson.

Ludwig has received awards from New Music USA, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A frequent guest at festivals and arts institutions at home and abroad, Ludwig has had multiple residencies at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies, festivals including Marlboro Music, Ravinia, Yellow Barn, and Angel Fire, and is a resident artist at Isabella Gardner Museum.

Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of eminent musicians including grandfather Rudolf Serkin and great-grandfather Adolf Busch. He holds degrees from Oberlin, The Manhattan School, Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig serves on the composition faculty of Curtis and is the Gie and Lisa Liem Dean of Artistic Programs and director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Priscilla Natkins: Marketing Consultant, Reservoir Communications


Priscilla consults with both corporations and brands on their brand purpose/CSR programs, and with non-profits on their communications efforts and corporate partnerships. Her clients include UNICEF, Brady United and JUST Capital.

Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Priscilla served as Executive Vice President at the Ad Council, where she oversaw the development and evaluation of all of the campaigns on the Ad Council docket. To this end, Priscilla was chiefly responsible for the Ad Council’s relationships with nearly fifty national non-profit and Federal government clients, as well as over forty volunteer advertising agencies. In addition to managing the strategic and creative development of the Ad Council campaigns with work implemented across all traditional and new media platforms, Priscilla oversaw the Research and Evaluation Department, whose tasks include the development and assessment of tailored metrics for each campaign.

Priscilla holds an MBA from Columbia University, with a specialization in Marketing.

She has served as Chairman and is a current Board member of Let’s Get Ready, a non-profit dedicated to college access for underserved students. She is also a member of the President’s Council for The Wilderness Society.

Sarah Novatt: Kayak – Director of Communications

image1Sarah Novatt is an integrated communications specialist and recently joined Kayak as their Director of Communications for North America. For the last seven and half years, Sarah worked on a variety of technology, consumer, entertainment and non profit clients at NYC agency, Sunshine Sachs.  From early stage startups to global consumer brands and large scale events, Sarah lead integrated clients including Roku, WeWork , Modcloth and eBay. Prior to joining Sunshine Sachs, Sarah worked at Home front communications, a Washington D.C. based public relations agency. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Rochester where she earned a B.A. in Psychology.

Alexander Scheirle: Executive Director – Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Cellist


Alexander Scheirle is the Executive Director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra New York. During a very successful career as a cellist during which he performed with orchestras around the world and recorded with such renowned composers, soloists and conductors as Pierre Boulez, Mstislaw Rostropovich, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock and recordings for all the major labels such as EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Arte Nova and Koch Schwann his career took a turn when he became first the Artistic- and Executive Director of the Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic, and, after moving to the US the Artistic and Executive Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival. Mr Scheirle holds a B.A. from the College of Music in Saarbruecken in Germany and Masters Degree from the College of Music/Cologne- Aachen, Germany.

Katelyn Simon: Musician and Philanthropy Professional

Katelyn Simon enjoys a multifaceted career driven by the conviction that the arts transform and empower. Currently, she serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, where she focuses on foundation and government giving. Her prior experience includes roles at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the University of Notre Dame. Also a professional oboist, she has held positions with orchestras including the Chicago Civic and South Bend Symphonies and continues to freelance in New York and across the country.

Previously a contributing editor for the Clyde Fitch Report, a journal at the nexus of art and politics, her columns explored the impact of women in the arts and the intersection of art, life, and community. Katelyn serves on the board of directors for contemporary vocal ensemble Quince and holds a Master of Music from Northwestern University

 Mary Keith: Student – Syracuse University

Mary Keith is a graduate student undergoing a Master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development and Psychology from McGill University.  Mary interned for Seth Novatt during the inaugural year of the Adolf Busch Award, but has retained a position on the board for the past two years. 

Mary played the piano growing up and the French horn throughout high school. While no longer actively playing, she continues to appreciate the beauty of music and the value that it can serve.