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12 Ways to be Comforted by Music & the League of American Orchestras

One year ago today Nine Muses Travel became a Business Member of the League of American Orchestras. One of my specialties is working with non-profits’ Development staff to custom-design culturally-rich, VIP group trips for their donors, and I wanted to offer my travel services to the music community. The photo above is from my lucky front row seat for Carmina Burana, performed joyfully last June by Nashville Symphony in the lovely Schermerhorn Symphony Center during the League’s annual conference. I exhibited at last year's conference in Nashville to talk with their members about donor group travel, and I met wonderful people who’ve become friends as well as clients.

Many orchestral moments like that one in Nashville have flooded my heart with beauty, awe, and inexplicable sensations that can only be felt from the physical force of a stage full of musicians performing live. I’ll never forget hearing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 live for the first time 25 years ago at London’s Barbican Centre with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, but even more I remember the walk home. I was different on a molecular level. I was shook. I was floating inches above the ground, unable to touch earth. I remember that walk home more vividly than I remember most of the concert. Have you had an experience like this? Has live music ever cracked open unknown parts of your soul? If not, I recommend going to your local symphony orchestra’s website right now and buying a ticket – even better, get a subscription. Include composers and works you never heard of. Go just to feel the sound. And see what happens.

As arts organizations are forced to cancel performances and suddenly face hard decisions on how to keep afloat, I felt a moral obligation and civic duty to renew my Business Membership with the League of American Orchestras, the only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience. It feels good contributing to those who in turn provide so many benefits for an entire arts community. National bodies like the League of American Orchestras are always on the front line advocating for their members, and their voice is invaluable right now. If you'd like to make a big impact for the music community, please consider making a donation too.

The League of American Orchestras’ mission is to advance the experience of orchestral music, support the people and organizations that create it, and champion the contributions they make to the health and vibrancy of communities. Their vision is for the orchestral experience to be shared by all and supported by artistically vibrant, robust, and civically engaged organizations, and the League is an indispensable leader, resource, and voice for the orchestra community and its value to the public. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit to learn more!

Can’t wait for live performances to resume? Need some comfort at home? Below are links I gathered from the League to keep us inspired through these days of self-isolation. Music is always there for us!

Quarantine Concerts – Cleveland, OH Piano Cleveland and Steinway Piano Gallery of Cleveland launched the Quarantine Concerts, livestreamed every Thursday from the Steinway gallery and featuring local artists struggling with the financial repercussions of Coronavirus. The next program at 7:30pm on March 26 will feature violinist Ann Yu and pianist Melivia Raharjo for Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1, and bassoonist Mackenzie Brauns performing Bach’s Partita BWV 1013.

Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Comfort Check out Yo-Yo Ma’s #SongsOfComfort videos that he started posting on his Facebook page, where he plays music that gives him comfort. Musicians around the world are encouraged to share their songs that give comfort using #SongsOfComfort across social media.

Music Never Sleeps – New York City Cellist Jan Vogler has organized a 24-hour video livestream event, “Music Never Sleeps NYC.” It features multiple New York-based artists, beginning Friday, March 27 at 6:00pm ET, with the hashtag #musicneversleepsNYC. Social distancing of musicians will be strictly observed in content creation, and the concert will be streamed across social-media platforms. Participating musicians will include Adele Anthony, Inon Barnatan, Alessio Bax, Benjamin Beilman, Brentano Quartet, Lucille Chung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Jeremy Denk, Bela Fleck, Zlatomir Fung, Paul Huang, Colin Jacobsen, Eric Jacobsen, The Knights, Tessa Lark, Nathan Meltzer, Midori, Nico Muhly, Aoife O’Donovan, Sandbox Percussion, Tiffany Poon, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Gil Shaham, Arnaud Sussman, Chris Thile, Michael Thurber, Nina Totenberg, Danbi Um, Jan Vogler, Mira Wang, Abigail Washburn, and Kevin Zhu. More artists will be added in the coming days, and New York-based charitable causes will be announced.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts Over the next several weeks, while public concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall are cancelled, the Buffalo Philharmonic is partnering with WNED Classical, which serves Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Canada, to broadcast archived live recordings of BPO concerts. The broadcasts are free, and the first one will be streamed on March 24 at 7:00pm. The recorded live May 11, 2019 performance features Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 with pianist Adam Golka. Archived concerts will be available Tuesdays at 7:00pm ET for the next few weeks locally at 94.5 FM, online at, and via the WNED Classical app. More information is available at the Buffalo Philharmonic’s website. In addition, BPO musicians are creating and sharing self-submitted video recordings of solo works, with the hashtag #PlayOnBPO. The musicians’ videos can be viewed at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Plano Symphony Orchestra – Texas Plano Symphony Orchestra will broadcast several previously performed concerts beginning March 28 at 8:00pm. CT and continue every Saturday evening through May 5. The inaugural March 28 broadcast will feature an April 28, 2019 concert featuring Music Director Hector Guzman conducting Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Yewon Sunwoo. The broadcasts are available for free at the Plano Symphony Orchestra website at The Plano Symphony Orchestra’s website states that due to the City of Richardson closing the Eisemann Center and the state of emergency declared by Dallas County, all PSO performances during the month of March have been cancelled.

Music for the Soul – Cleveland, OH

To provide programming for listeners at home during the COVID-19 crisis, the Cleveland-based period-instrument ensemble Apollo’s Fire has launched Music for the Soul, a free, semi-weekly series of online programs featuring concert videos, interviews, and related reading posted Tuesdays and Fridays. The series began with some “old favorite” videos, and will include new videos and interviews beginning next week. The March 17 episode, a 40-minute St. Patrick’s Day-themed edition, featured ten Celtic Christmas videos with Celtic harp. The performances are interspersed with a Facebook discussion group for listeners to discuss clips, followed by more videos. Visit Apollo’s Fire’s website and the group’s “virtual lobby” Facebook page for more information.

More ways to stream and listen to music: Berlin Philharmonic: Thirty-day free access to its entire library of performances Detroit Symphony Orchestra: The DSO Replay allows listeners to stream past shows for free Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Both live streams and past shows are available The Metropolitan Opera: One past concert is streamed live every day… for free on its homepage. The live stream link will be up for 20 hours Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra: South Korea has mobilized their classical music venue to offer calm and respite to listeners at home and live streamed its first concert on March 12. Its YouTube channel is announcing more online concerts. ChamberFest Cleveland: Their Facebook page posted its 2016 performance of Schumann’s beautiful Quintet for Piano, Two Violins, Viola and Cello, which can be seen at

Contact me to include transformative live music on your next trip!


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