Last night, I attended a concert at the New England Conservatory (NEC), called Music for Food. The concert featured prominent faculty from NEC and other musicians who played for this charity. At the door, audience members are asked to make a donation of cash or food, which is then given to charity to support impoverished families in the Greater Boston Area. The event was coordinated by world-renowned violist Kim Kashkashian, who also played during the last number of the program. This concert was the 14th of its kind, the second of the 2012-2013 concert season. The concert itself featured two chamber works by Dvorak with one song in between by Vaughan Williams.
The music was as great as the cause itself. The first Dvorak trio was played with incredible ease and musicality. The second vocal piece by Vaughan Williams was sung by a booming baritone who epitomized the folk-like feel of Vaughan Williams pieces so effortlessly. Following a brief intermission, the final piece was a sextet by Dvorak which included Ms. Kashkashian on one of the viola parts. This piece was my favorite as I have rarely witnessed such a keen such of communication between the players, specifically the inner voices. The musicality shown amongst the players represented much maturity and wisdom that only years of integration in music can attain. At the end of the concert, it was revealed that over three thousand dollars were raised, money to feed a family of four for approximately ten months.
I believe that this kind of venue can only do wonders for the musical community (aside from the obvious benefits of feeding the poor). After viewing the concert, I am now curious to see if concerts like these have appeared in other cities. This kind of program could also stimulate a sense of community in smaller areas, allowing for younger musicians to showcase their talent while benefiting a good cause. Hopefully, the Music for Food concert series will continue to benefit all for years to come.