The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Orchestre de Paris - Fondation La vie au grand air

In keeping with their pledge to support educational models, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, together with the Orchestre de Paris and the Vie au Grand Air Foundation, have launched an innovative partnership to allow children from difficult family and social backgrounds to discover – and also play – classical music.

Young audiences: a top priority for the Orchestre de Paris

The Orchestre de Paris, successor to the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire founded in 1828, is based at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris. With 119 musicians of different ages and nationalities, this prestigious orchestra is a reference in intercultural and intergenerational diversity. Its values – excellence, commitment and openness – are shared wholeheartedly by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.

Bruno Hamard, who became the Orchestra’s new General Director in 2010, has made young people a key priority of the Orchestra, which is developing an ever wider range of educational activities, including educational and family-oriented concerts regularly directed by the accomplished musician and renowned teacher Richard McNicol, open rehearsals, creative workshops, classes in residence, discovery programs, and off-site chamber music recitals. These initiatives provide a gateway for a real-life approach to classical music and make the Orchestre de Paris a perfect partner for the Vie au Grand Air Foundation.

Partnership between the Orchestre de Paris and the Vie au Grand Air Foundation

In 2009, the Foundation established a partnership with the Verrières-le-Buisson care residence south of Paris, which accommodates children and young adults aged 4-21 from difficult family backgrounds who have been placed in state care by social services or the courts. A dozen children residing at the center are given the opportunity to get to know orchestra musicians by regularly attending rehearsals and performances. The group learns how to play a musical instrument together in sessions organized by DEMOS, an orchestra and music education social initiative, and receives weekly instrument lessons from a musician from the Orchestre de Paris who comes to the care center.

Children in the program also take violin lessons with the best musicians in the Orchestra and accompany the extraordinary ensemble once a year on tour. They have traveled to Athens, Vienna and most recently to Aix en Provence. During the trip, they spend their days with musicians, attend rehearsals and concerts, and are offered specially tailored cultural visits.

Adding further interest to this unique program are the chamber music recitals given by Orchestre de Paris musicians at the Verrières-le-Buisson center. This partnership steadfastly supports access to equal opportunities through classical music by giving children the gift of music as part of a commitment to social welfare.

The Edmond de Rothschild Fondations were honored to support the Orchestre de Paris - Fondation La vie au grand air until 2012.

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