Music for Food Winter Preview

By Robert Cinnante

Music for Food said goodbye to 2014 with a strong finish, having presented 28 events nationwide to benefit 20 hunger relief organizations, helping to provide more than 50,000 meals to those in need. 2015 kicks off with four events planned over the next month in the Greater Boston area. Here’s a preview of what to expect:

The Suite Sound of Bach

Following his 2006 debut on the Bank of America Marquee Celebrity Series, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked that, “Emmanuel Feldman was superb in the Bach Cello Suites.” On October 26, Feldman commenced a fresh exploration of these works, performing half the cycle on a recital at Tufts University. On Tuesday, January 13 he performs Cello Suites Nos. 3, 5, and 6 as part of his faculty recital, in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. For Feldman, these concerts are an opportunity to further engage with his audience, while helping the Centre Street Pantry in his home community of Newton.

This is Feldman’s second time collaborating with Music for Food. When asked about his continued involvement with the organization, he said, “It’s inspiring to play a concert where everyone attending can feel like they personally made a difference with all donations going to a local charity. This new collaboration with MFF has been one of the most gratifying and empowering moments in my career.”

Check out a clip from Feldman’s last Music for Food collaboration, performing Gershwin’s My Man’s Gone Now:

Rite of Spring Dance Party

On Sunday, January 18, conductor James Balchy, currently the Zander Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, has assembled an orchestra of leading freelance musicians and music students from throughout the Greater Boston area for Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. But unlike any other performance of this sacrificial masterpiece, audience members will be invited to get up out of their seats and dance, taking the phrase “active civic engagement” to a whole new level!

For this concert, Music for Food joins forces with the Boston Philharmonic, Groupmuse, and Sheep Island Ensemble, which Balchy founded back in 2009. Reading through the mission statement of each organization, you’ll find commonality amongst a shared goal of bringing music to the community and the community to music. Thanks to generosity of private donors, a significant portion of proceeds from ticket sales at this concert will benefit The Women’s Lunch Place, a safe, welcoming day community for all self-identified women who are experiencing homelessness or poverty.

NEC Series: Mendelssohn & More!
This series, curated by MFF Artistic Director/Founder Kim Kashkashian, brings together faculty, students, and alumni, as well as guest artists, for three concerts this season at New England Conservatory. On Monday, January 26, Kashkashian is joined by violinists Don Weilerstein and Alexi Kenney, cellists Laurence Lesser and Deborah Pae, violist Dimitri Murrath, and pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, for Harbison’s November 19, 1828, and Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 1 in A Major, op. 18. Also on the program is a relatively unknown work by Grant Beglarian, Of Fables, Foibles, and Fancies, for cello and narrator, performed by Laurence Lesser and NEC President Tony Woodcock.

BU Series

This season, Music for Food kicked off a new series at Boston University, to benefit the university’s own food rescue program. On Thursday, February 5 the series will present its second concert, at the Tsai Performance Center, under the direction of violinist Bayla Keyes. Keeping with Music for Food’s principle of teacher-student collaboration, Keyes will be joined by faculty colleagues Rhonda Rider (cello), Michelle LaCourse (viola), and Robert Merfeld (piano), and students Janny Joo (violin), Ivana Jasova (violin), Hye Min Choi (viola), and Alexis Lee (cello).

To learn more, visit:

Robert Cinnante joined Music for Food in 2013, and is now in his second full season as the organization’s General Manager. He can be reached at

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