2015 Charles Ansbacher Music for All Award to be Presented at Boston Landmarks Concert
The Free for All Concert Fund, a nonprofit organization providing access to free classical and orchestral music to all Bostonians, is pleased to announce the selection of Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar as the recipient of the 2015 Charles Ansbacher Music for All Award. Mr. Abboud-Ashkar is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Polyphony Foundation, whose mission is to help bridge the divide between Arabs and Jews in Israel through the power of classical music. Many of the Arab and Jewish musicians he has taught have received top music prizes in Israel and are now pursuing classical music careers.
Ambassador Swanee Hunt will present the award on behalf of her late husband, Charles Ansbacher, on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 before the "Sheherazade Meets Clarice Assad" Boston Landmarks Orchestra free concert at the historic Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. The free concert starts at 7:00pm and is part of the Landmarks Orchestra's Summer Series at the Hatch Shell. This concert is also their annual summer Reconciliation Concert, a series initiated by Free for All Concert Fund trustee Tuan Nguyen, celebrating the universal healing power of music.
Under Abboud-Ashkar's leadership, Polyphony Education offers the largest musical education program in Israel with over 8,000 students, youth orchestras and mixed ensembles, a semi-professional conservatory, residencies and an emerging professional orchestra. Prior to Polyphony, Arab students were not introduced to classical music. Through their involvement in the conservatory program and orchestras, young Arab and Jewish musicians practice and perform together, developing friendships through their shared passion for classical music. For most of these students, this is the first time they have become friends with someone from a different background. In turn, the audiences attending the concerts are both Arabs and Jews - a rarity in Israel. Throughout Israel, Polyphony has shown that classical music can be not only beautiful in its own right, but also a facilitator of dialogue and understanding and open the doors to helping people of all religious backgrounds come together. Polyphony offers hope for Israel's future.
ABOUT THE CHARLES ANSBACHER MUSIC FOR ALL AWARD
Conceived by Maestro Ansbacher's close friend Tuan Nguyen, founder and chairman of VietNamNet Media Group, the Charles Ansbacher Music for All Award represents Ansbacher's enduring legacy as founder of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Free for All Concert Fund. An internationally renowned conductor, Ansbacher created Landmarks to ensure great music was available to the community through free innovative performances held throughout the city. In addition to transformational performances in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Beirut, Lebanon, and Chisinau, the Maestro brought the first-ever classical symphony orchestra concert to Fenway Park and was the first American to lead the Vietnam National Symphony.
The annual award given in Ansbacher's name recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to bringing free, high-quality, classical music to all people in a particular geographic setting. Nominees included those whose work uses music as a conduit for bringing reconciliation and compassion to underserved communities, and those who are dedicated to improving humanity through classical music.