Three Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra musicians are bound for Carnegie Hall, to participate in a charity event called "Mahler For Vision."
A longstanding tradition presented by an organization called Music4Life International, the concert aims to bring hope for the restoration of vision to millions worldwide afflicted by treatable cataract blindness. It is a goodwill effort for all involved. Musicians are responsible for their own travel, room and board. They will gather Feb. 13 on the main stage of Carnegie Hall to perform a monumental work -- in this case, Gustav Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony.
The three members of the BPO making the trip are Henry Ward, principal oboe; Joshua Lauretig, second oboe; and Glenn Einschlag, principal bassoon. The trio will join other musicians from distinguished orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. The chorus will comprise singers from major New York City choral ensembles.
The performance will be conducted by George Mathew, the Singapore-born conductor who serves as artistic director for Music For Life. Soloists include renowned American violinist, Elmira Darvarova, soprano Indra Thomas and Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer.
Mathew said in a statement how eloquently Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony speaks to the blind.
"In the fourth movement the miracle happens! The human voice appears!" he said. "And we hear with shocking simplicity and transparency – the human cry of deep, personal yearning – the longing for light – for vision.”
Music4Life has aided a variety of charities. JoAnn Falletta, BPO music director, said that this one, the restoration of vision, has special resonance for her.
"The one this year is particularly dear to my heart since my mother was blind in the last years of her life," she said. "I am very proud that the Music4Life organization has made it a point to invite the BPO to be a part of this each year. I am so proud of Henry, Josh, and Glenn."
Mathew, in an email, expressed his gratitude.
"Over the years we have been deeply grateful for the steady support of Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director JoAnn Falletta, and the steadfast presence and camaraderie of our beloved friends from the Buffalo Philharmonic at our global humanitarian concerts," he wrote.
Tickets to the charity concert are $35 to $149 and are available at the Carnegie Hall box office or online.