Sounds of America Gramophone’s guide to the classical scene in the US and Canada

Focus FEED benefit concert – page I » The Scene Musical highlights – page IV » Recording reviews – page IX

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From left to right: christoph Eschenbach plays piano as alan gilbert conducts; David aaron carpenter with FEED founder lauren Bush lauren and alan gilbert

MAkinG MUSiC to rAiSe MillionStheSaloméChamberorchestra,fronted by David Aaron Carpenter and his two siblings, has contributed to many worthy causes, most recently lauren Bush lauren’s FeeD benefit concert at lincoln Center, writes Jed Distler on May 30, 2012, the recently formed Salomé Chamber Orchestra shared the stage at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with luminaries from the pop, classical, business and political worlds. Pop singers John Legend and Natasha Bedingfield, conductors Alan Gilbert and Christoph Eschenbach, not to mention President Bill Clinton and the spirited children’s chorus from New York Public School 22 took part. The purpose of this unique concert, partnered by the beauty product company Clarins, was to benefit the FEED Foundation, with the goal of raising funds to provide one million school meals to children in 62 of the world’s poorest countries. Together with the entertainers and speakers, FEED’s founder Lauren Bush Lauren (niece of President George W Bush and married to Ralph Lauren’s son, David, hence the name) and Clarins’s founder Christian Courtin-Clarins addressed a strikingly turned-out audience with apt and insightful comments to the accompaniment of relevantly compelling and seamlessly integrated photos and videos projected on an overhead screen.

The idea that young American classical musicians can be philanthropists may seem far-fetched in a precarious economic climate. Worthy social causes, however, are on top of Salomé’s agenda, along with attracting some of the New York City area’s most promising young professional musicians. Founded in September 2009, the conductorless ensemble is run by the three Carpenter siblings – violinists Sean Avram and Lauren Sarah and viola player David Aaron – who are Princeton graduates and accomplished instrumentalists in their own right and who also have firm roots and connections in the business world. The elegant ambience and historic artwork that permeates the siblings’ Upper West Side townhouse overlooking Central Park evokes images of an era when artists and businessmen hobnobbed in salons, making contacts and exchanging ideas. ‘Our informal motto is philanthropy via music,’ Sean explained. ‘There are not too many classical music organisations with that kind of philosophy, and we saw an opportunity to lend our services to charities not only to raise funds for their programmes, but also to attract their constituents to classical music and attend a concert that they otherwise might not go to.’

Middle sibling Lauren worked at Google for more than five years as an account manager. Younger brother David, who is Salomé’s artistic director, is the recipient of the 2011 Leonard Bernstein Award and the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant, with extensive international tours and three releases on the Ondine label to his credit, yet he graduated from

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