Kuss Takes Part in Concerts to Benefit Refugee Children

mark kuss and george mathewMusic Professor Mark Kuss continues his association with Music for Life International as a board member and is now involved in a series of 15 international concerts to commemorate the Year for the Children of Syria. Music for Life is an organization whose mission is to create transformative action for global and local social good through music and for music. It takes its name from the legendary MUSIC FOR LIFE concerts organized by Leonard Bernstein in the late 1980s at Carnegie Hall and was created to conceive and present musical concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises and other public interest issues in the United States and throughout the world.

Music for Life International launched the Year for the Children of Syria on April 25, at an event hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations and H.E. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, Permanent Representative, at the Liechtenstein Residence in New York City. At this event – a fund raiser for UNICEF -- following a program of remarks by H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; George Mathew, founder and artistic director of Music For Life International; and other dignitaries, Kuss took part in a brief chamber music performance, also featuring former New York Philharmonic associate principal cellist Alan Stepansky; distinguished Syrian soloist and former West-Eastern Divan Orchestra principal clarinet and composer Kinan Azmeh; and Mathew. The event involved about 160 people, including representatives from the United Nations and CIOs and vice presidents of Fortune 500 companies.  

The Year for the Children of Syria is a “global humanitarian concert” taking place in New York and cities around the world — including Panama City; Berlin; Washington, D.C.; and Boston — which will culminate in “Shostakovich for the Children of Syria,” a performance of the “Leningrad” Symphony of Shostakovich at Carnegie Hall in January 2014. This initiative brings together many of the world’s finest orchestral musicians, including Kuss. Principal artists will gather from the New York Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and other major ensembles. Proceeds of this year-long initiative will benefit UNICEF’s humanitarian programs for the Syrian Emergency.

Video footage of Kuss at the piano during the April 25 event is available here: www.t2conline.com/year-for-the-children-of-syria/ . He has since traveled to Panama with this project and in the fall will go to Berlin and Monoco.

Kuss is also Smithsonian Institution Resident Artist and pianist and composer for the Hesperus Ensemble. He recently had a sax concerto premiered in Warsaw, Poland, and a ballet premiered in Philadelphia.