“Origins of Mahler”

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The New York City Summer Mahler Project presents, “Origins of Mahler”, a concert to benefit the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward


Program:        Mahler’s Blumine movement from his First Symphony, Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi, and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony

Tickets:          $20 general admission; $50 premium seating; $10 students/seniors. Champagne reception for donors of over $100.


Thanks to generous underwriting, 100% of all ticket sales and every dollar raised go directly to the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward, an El Sistema-inspired program in New Orleans founded in part with funds from previous Mahler benefit concerts, now entering its 3rd year. Executive Director Laura Patterson will represent the orchestra at the concert; more information can be found at www.yol9w.org.

About the Project and Artists

The New York City Summer Mahler Project performs “Origins of Mahler” a benefit concert for the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward on July 25th at 7:30pm at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 50th Street and Park Avenue. The program consists of Mahler’s Blumine movement from his First Symphony, Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi, and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.

Conductor James Blachly, recently named the 2013-14 Zander Fellow, has assembled an all-star orchestra in New York City to perform this concert on a volunteer basis. Players include former and current members of the Academy of Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, and the Weill Music Institute (ACJW) and the Decoda. Some are early music specialists; others are seasoned free-lancers who perform on Broadway or with the New York Philharmonic. Many are teaching artists, and all care deeply about the future of music education in this country.

This concert is possible only with the full commitment of these passionate musicians who desire to make an impact with their playing. They are choosing to give freely of their time to benefit others; in this case for the tangible cause of a Youth Orchestra in New Orleans.

Audience members will be invited to celebrate and support a youth orchestra in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans that is committed to the continued growth and strengthening of a neighborhood with a long tradition of independence and cultural strength that continues to merit our ongoing attention and support. Patrons should come prepared to participate in a silent auction at intermission and before the concert.

The New York City Summer Mahler Project is a consortium of musicians and institutions that gathers every summer to present a major benefit concert for New Orleans. Through these concerts, a viable Sistema Nucleo has been formed with the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward, now entering its third year. Performing musicians are top-flight young professionals from New York City, many of whom are from the Decoda or Ensemble ACJW, New York Philharmonic Teaching Artists, and other top free-lancers. All of them donate their playing for a cause they believe in, and look forward to the chance to play with like-minded musicians.

Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward

YOL9W is an El Sistema-inspired after school program that runs Monday-Thursday from 3:30-6:30 PM throughout the school year. The program consists of excellent music instruction implemented by a diverse staff of professional musicians and college students; opportunities to participate in workshops with guest artists and local musicians; and community-relevant performances.  Additionally, the children receive a healthy snack, help with homework, an evening meal, and transportation for those who need it. The growing programs are located at Arise Academy, KIPP Leadership Primary, and the All Souls Church and Community Center.  www.yol9w.org

James Blachly, Conductor

Recently named the 2013-4 Zander Fellow, composer-conductor James Blachly is Music Director of the Sheep Island Ensemble and Artistic Director of the New York City Summer Mahler Project. Mr. Blachly envisions an audience-performer relationship that invites new and experienced listeners to love music ever more dynamically, and celebrates working closely with some of the finest and most passionate performers of his generation. Mr. Blachly is a graduate of Oberlin and Mannes, and most recently completed a master’s degree studying with Donald Schleicher at the University of Illinois, where he won the 2012 Presser Award for Career Advancement. www.jamesblachly.com.

Owen Dalby, Concertmaster

Praised as "dazzling" (New York Times) and "a fearless and inquisitive violinist" (San Francisco Classical Voice), Owen Dalby is hailed for his gripping interpretations of music from across the stylistic spectrum. He is a co-founder of The Decoda, New York City's trailblazing society of virtuoso chamber musicians, arts advocates, and educators. Owen is regularly invited to perform chamber music at international festivals from Hamburg to Honolulu, and from Iceland to Mumbai. His chamber collaborators have included Daniel Hope, Dawn Upshaw, the Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and Simon Rattle. Owen is a native of Berkeley, California and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale.

Sheep Island Ensemble, Co-presenter

The Sheep Island Ensemble, founded in 2009, strives to create meaningful experiences for its audiences, whether in Loft Parties, chamber music salons, garden concerts, or as the presenter of the New York City Summer Mahler Project. Often striking an innovative balance between contemporary music, traditional music, and classical masterpieces, the ensemble consists of excellent players and dynamic performances. For more information please visit www.sheepislandensemble.com.

MMPAF, Co-presenter

Since 2010, Great Music at St. Bart's has been presented by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501c(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop an understanding and love of great music as presented at St. Bartholomew's Church. The renewed mission is to broaden the scope of performing arts presented at St. Bart's, one of the city's Great Places. www.mmpaf.org

[1]Gustav Mahler to Alma, 1904: [about Brahms}: “It is very seldom he can make anything whatever of his themes, beautiful as they often are. Only Beethoven and Wagner, after all, could do that.”



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