Painting the Future for Musical Diplomacy

We have been avidly following the progress of Musical Diplomacy, the brainchild of From the Top’s Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Grant recipients Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman. After an entire year of planning and organizing, their dream of using music to bring together leading policymakers, teachers, musicians, and concerned citizens was finally realized at the Fenway Center Auditorium on May 14. The event demonstrated both musical excellence and creative design, and was very well-received. We sat down with the two after the performance to reflect on the memories and values gleaned from their yearlong journey.

Brian after conducting Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" (photo courtesy of Jesse Weiner)

From the Top: What have you learned during the course of developing Musical Diplomacy?

Brian: We learned a tremendous amount. We learned about what we’re capable of as artists, as individuals, what we have the ability to do if we put our mind to it. We learned a lot about how to put something together, how to organize things, and how to get a community excited about something. The whole thing was challenging—there was no part of it that was a walk in the park! There was constant negotiating, adjusting, and modifying original plans. To do something like this, you have to be really flexible. Continue reading

Two Los Angeles Events For Nicholas King

In the beginning of June we updated you on From the Top alum Nicholas King.  This week we received more information about his summer plans to share with you.

You may remember that Nicholas mentioned throwing a private concert in July to fundraise so he can continue his studies at the world-renowned Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto – now we’ve got the details: On July 17 he will perform at the Evo Penthouse in Los Angeles, CA.  His event will include appetizers, dessert, and wine (courtesy of Truly Raw Gourmet, Tia’s Bakery, Chocovivo and Coconut Bliss) in addition to his performance. If you’re in the LA area, you should definitely check it out and help this alum stay on his musical track!  Tickets at the door are $30 each or $50 for two.

Image Courtesy of Susan von Seggern

At 3pm the very next day Nicholas will appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  He’s the special guest performer at the Southeast Symphony Association’s season-ending celebration. This performance will include “American Salute” by Martin Gould, “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, “Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 18 in C minor” by Sergei Rachmaninoff,  and “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev with a special guest celebrity narrator. Tickets are available through the Southeast Symphony Association or Ticketmaster.

Nicholas says, “I’m excited to play at Disney Hall, it’s an amazing venue! Plus doing the fundraising event in the sky above LA at the Evo will be a wonderful experience and help me further my studies. It will be a big weekend!” Check out his website for more information.

Good luck Nicholas!

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