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Music for Life International to Present THE SCHEHERAZADE INITIATIVE at Carnegie Hall, 1/26

Music for Life International Inc. presents The Scheherazade Initiative, a benefit concert of the great Scheherazade-inspired pieces by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Maurice Ravel, organized and led by Singapore-born Indian conductor George Mathew. The concert will be presented in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on January 26, 2015 at 8pm. Net proceeds will benefit the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, beneficiary of the concert.

The Scheherazade Initiative is a partnership between Music for Life International and the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, to raise funds and public awareness for some of the world's most catalytic, innovative, and promising approaches to eliminating gender-based violence. The Concert at Carnegie Hall will serve as a tribute to the resilience of women, their families, and their communities in the face of often unspeakable violence as well as an urgent call to the global community to take action to make the world safe for our sisters, mothers and daughters.

The Scheherazade Initiative will bring together many of the world's finest orchestral musicians. Principal artists will gather from the New York Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Buffalo Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as their colleagues from other international ensembles; students and faculty of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Curtis Institute, and other major music academies.

Elmira Darvarova, former Concertmaster of the MET Orchestra (and the first female concertmaster in the MET's history), will serve as Concertmaster. The distinguished Mezzo-Soprano and MET Opera star, Susanne Mentzer, will give voice to Ravel's Shéhérazade in the concert. The concert will also feature the electrifying Spoken Word Poet, Sarah Kay, whose phenomenal performance at TED 2011 has been seen by more than 7 million viewers. She will make her Carnegie Hall debut at The Scheherazade Initiative performing rarely heard works of her own.

Speaking about the concert, Artistic Director George Mathew noted, "Scheherazade embodies the power of women over the centuries, around the world who have creatively worked in spheres large and small, private and public to stop violence. Scheherazade, as the narrator of the Tales of the 1001 Arabian Nights, is an archetypal figure, who not only neutralized the violence directed against herself but has enriched global folklore for generations. Over the last millennium, her legend has been an inspiration for composers, poets, writers, painters, sculptors and other artists."

"The UN Trust Fund is delighted to embark on this new partnership with Music for Life International. The Scheherazade Initiative will not only provide critically-needed resources to support our efforts to end violence against women and girls, but will also connect individuals around the world to our cause in an entirely new way." - Aldijana Sisic, Chief of the UN Trust Fund.

About The Scheherazade Initiative - The Scheherazade Initiative is the sixth in a series of global humanitarian concerts that George Mathew and Music For Life International have conceived and presented at Carnegie Hall, gathering together artists from the world's finest orchestras, ensembles and music schools for humanitarian causes while employing the music itself as their central source of energy.

The Scheherazade Initiative was launched in Washington DC in December 2013, at the residence of H.E. Rudolf Bekink, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States, in the presence of the Hon. Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President of the United States, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. This was recently followed by an international concert, The Scheherazade Initiative India, at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, co-presented by UN Women and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.

Through a series of fundraising concerts, ticket sales, sponsorships and donations, the Initiative will support the UN Trust Fund as a critical source of funding for civil society organizations and a vital mechanism for translating government commitments to ending gender-based violence into concrete action. It will also connect audiences around the world to the innovative and effective strategies pioneered by UN Trust Fund grantees to prevent violence against women and girls. To date, the UN Trust Fund has supported over 350 initiatives in 128 countries with more than $86 million in grants, combining multiple areas of intervention to respond to women's interrelated rights and needs from physical safety to economic security.

The Scheherazade Initiative will operate under the auspices of Music for Life International, a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization in New York. The funds raised by The Scheherazade Initiative will go to United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which to date has supported over 350 initiatives in 128 countries with more than $86 million in grants, combining multiple areas of intervention to respond to women's interrelated rights and needs from physical safety to economic security."

Tickets are $35 - $149. For information or to purchase tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. Tickets are also available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, or online at

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