We first meet the 75-year-old Benjamin Zander dancing with a group of 5-year-olds at a public elementary school in south Boston.
As the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and longtime New England Conservatory educator, Ben sees music education as essential. We follow Ben as he prepares to take his newly minted orchestra to Carnegie Hall.
Ben has devoted his life to the service of others and challenging his young group of future leaders to be the most passionate communicators of classical music that they can be.
￼￼￼When Britlin Losee first heard choral composer Eric Whitacre’s music while in high school, she
felt an instant and life changing connection. Britlin was a shy and introverted student and using her voice to sing was something out of the question. In 2009, Britlin posted a video of herself singing the soprano line of “Sleep”, one of Eric’s famed compositions, to YouTube as a way to thank the composer.
This bold statement sparked the creation of the Virtual Choir, an ensemble that uses technology to connect singers around the world. It also helped forge a special bond between her and Eric Whitacre.
Music has always been an anchor in her life. Her experience with the Virtual Choir motivates Britlin to compose her own music and premiere an original opera, Fiora. This musical journey parallels her own and underscores her emotional and musical growth.
What happens when you’re born in Sri Lanka, grow up in Dubai and end up living in Canada? You get Dinuk Wijeratne. Dinuk is a Toronto based, Juilliard trained composer who infuses his diverse background by combining eastern and western classical music.
Despite the sincerity of his work, Dinuk worries the classical music world may not be ready for the type of cultural fusion he is forging.
Dinuk works with the dynamic Afiara Quartet to create original, genre-defying music that combines DJ and string quartet. Dinuk’s charming personality and thoughtful nature provide a foundation for an innovative collaboration.
Eric Whitacre is a world-renowned choral and orchestral composer who has received two Grammys and spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is the founder of the Virtual Choir, an ensemble that uses technology to connect people over 200 different countries through music. His music has the distinct ability to touch people and bring them together.
Larry Livingston is the founder of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra and the Former Dean of University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He emphasizes the importance of music and teaching children to be passionate performers – not just technical musicians.
Bobby McFerrin is a Grammy Award winning vocalist and performer known for the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” He believes in the inherent joy of music. He focuses on creating inclusive performances that break down barriers between the audience and performers.
Charith Premawardhana is a performer and the founder Classical Revolution, an international chamber music group. His goal is to bring music to a more diverse audience and take the art form outside of the concert hall.
Rich Capparela is a radio host on Classical KUSC and uses his role to introduce more people to music and make the genre accessible and entertaining.
Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega
Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega is the founder of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra. Her goal is to make classical music accessible to a wider audience. She hopes to breakdown any barriers that audiences may face and give everyone the opportunity to experience beauty.