Unique Opportunity To Help Zimbabwe Student Music Group

From the Top alum William Harvey‘s musical organization, Cultures in Harmony, is hosting a student music group from Zimbabwe August 4-25, 2010 in New York City and Washington D.C.

Onias Horiwa and William Harvey, July 2006. Photo courtesy of Cultures in Harmony

Cultures in Harmony has worked with this group, comprised of leader Onias Horiwa, eight students, and one teacher  from Eaglesvale High School, in Zimbabwe in the past through two music projects: Sound of Water, Sound of Hope and Give Children Musical Instruments. Now William and his crew welcome these old friends to America.

Their trip will be filled with activities including “creative workshops at Culturarte, a picnic in New York’s Central Park with Cultures in Harmony volunteers, a performance featuring Onias Horiwa on mbira and Cultures in Harmony musicians in New York City, and workshops and other activities led by Dawn Smith and Ryan Murphy, Cultures in Harmony project participants who have been to Zimbabwe and now reside in Washington, DC.”

William writes, “From Zimbabwe to Papua New Guinea to Pakistan to Moldova, people with few resources other than their hospitality have generously welcomed American musicians into their homes during Cultures in Harmony projects over the past five years. Now is the US’s chance to return the favor!”

Where do YOU come in? William is looking for volunteers with a couch or extra bed who are willing to host a member of the group for all or some of their stay in New York or Washington.  Interested? Join Cultures in Harmony on Facebook and send a message to Deputy Director Sarah Frisof!

More information here.

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!

2010-2011 Season Tour Dates

We are pleased to announce our 2010-2011 national tour dates for taping our popular NPR radio program hosted by acclaimed concert pianist Christopher O’Riley. The tour will include concert events at From the Top’s home base at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall and cities from Athens, GA to Yountville, CA and will mark From the Top’s eleventh season in public broadcasting.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners each week, From the Top celebrates the amazing performances and captivating stories of America’s best pre-college classical musicians. We are proud to continue our work through the 2011 season!

2010-2011 From the Top’s NPR Radio Taping Schedule*

Tuesday July 13, 2010: St. Paul, Minnesota
Presented by Young Artist World Piano Festival

Tuesday, October 12, 2010: Davenport, Iowa
Presented by Orchestra Iowa as part of From the Top’s Iowa Residency, Iowa Makes Music

Sunday, October 24, 2010: Boston, Massachusetts
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall

Tuesday, November 2, 2010: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Presented by LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts

Tuesday, November 16, 2010: Abilene, Texas
Presented by KACU-FM

Friday, December 3, 2010: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Presented by the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University

Sunday, January 23, 2011: Yountville, California
Presented by the Lincoln Theater Napa Valley

Saturday, January 29, 2011: Boston, Massachusetts
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall

Tuesday, February 8, 2011: Opelika, Alabama
Presented by the Arts Association of East Alabama

Sunday, February 27, 2011: Athens, GA
Presented by the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, March 30, 2011: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Presented by Orchestra Iowa as part of From the Top’s Iowa Residency, Iowa Makes Music

Saturday, April 16, 2011: College Park, Maryland
Presented by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland

Tuesday, April 26, 2011: Carmel, Indiana
Presented by The Palladium at The Center for the Performing Arts

Wednesday, May 4, 2011: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Presented by the Virginia Arts Festival at the Sandler Center.

Sunday, May 15, 2011: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Presented by KCSC-FM at the Rose State College Performing Arts Theatre

*Keep in mind the schedule is subject to change; you can always find the most up-to-date taping schedule on our website.

Links we Like: The Power of Music

This week in Links we Like, we observe the role that classical music can play in diplomacy and making a difference. Whether it be defending the importance of music education or supporting a political movement, music serves as a powerful catalyst for uniting people and ideas behind a cause.

Also, as a little side note, today is Mahler’s 150th anniversary! Click here to enjoy an excerpt from his 7th Symphony with the Lucerne Festival and Claudio Abbado.

The Cost of Freedom: The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with former New York Philharmonic director Zubin Mehta, gave a performance at the end of June advocating the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. The concert observed the fourth anniversary of Shalit’s capture by the Hamas, and was accompanied by a 12-day march of thousands of protestors demanding for his release. The concert program consisted of works by Mozart, Albinoni, Verdi, and Beethoven as well as two popular Israeli songs with singer Shlomo Artzi. To read more about the performance, click here.

Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic (courtesy of operachic.typepad.com)

Collaboration for Education: The “Queen of Soul” herself, Aretha Franklin, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will stage a joint benefit performance at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on July 27, 2010. The program’s selections will range from Mozart to “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” and will be accompanied by the Philadelphia Orchestra with Rossen Milanov. Proceeds from the performance will go towards educational incentives and programs for the inner city youth of Philadelphia. Click here to read more about the concert.

(photo courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk)

The Show Must Go On: Amid the hardships of orchestras nationwide in a hard-pressed economy, one orchestra makes a comeback. The North Carolina Symphony met its goal of $8 million; the amount needed to stay afloat at the end of their fiscal year. A myriad of support from over 4,000 donors as well as a benefit concert helped bring the orchestra back to its feet. To read more about the NC Symphony and its road to recovery, click here.

North Carolina Symphony Director Grant Llewellyn (photo courtesy of news.ncdcr.gov)

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