world-renowned pianist and creator of the foundation, Lang
Lang, played led a special performance featuring the
foundation’s Young Scholars.
"I really feel
that this is a good beginning. I think the next ten
years will be even easier to build up," said Lang Lang.
"We believe that if music just disappears from
children's fundamental studies, that would be the most
tragic thing...We have to inspire kids to learn music."
The gala was
hosted by Golden Globe-winning actor Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin, along with auctioneer George McNeely, led
the foundation's 'call for cash,' drawing a flurry of
The evening also
included special performances by three-time Grammy Award
winner Wyclef Jean, twelve-time Grammy Award
nominee Ledisi, and internationally acclaimed
tenor Roberto Alagna.The Foundation presented a
special award to Joan and Irwin Jacobs, who were
honored for their contributions to classical arts.
was opened with a speech by Gala Chair
John Paulson, who spoke about how musicians add
richness to everyone's lives.
Weill, Chairman of the Board of Directors at
LLIMF, presented a special award toJoan and Irwin
Jacobs, who were honored for their contributions
to classical arts.
Guests included Catherine
Azmoodeh, Charles Atkins and Lisa Simonsen, Tony
Bechara, Olivier Berrgruen, Christopher Burch & Monika
Chiang, Andre Barwinski-Brown, Kelly Cutrone, Colin
Cowie, Christina Cressey, Dushan Di Concilio, Brian and
Joanna Fisher, Judith M. Hoffman, Robert Hormats, David
Hryck, Joan Khan, John and Jenny Paulson, Sana Sabbagh,
Elizabeth Segerstrom, Daisy Soros, Allyson Tang, Benny
Tabatabai, Suzanne Vega and Paul Mills, Sandy
Weill and Joan Weill, Jason Wu, Dr. Ruth Westheimer,
Shirley Young, & Ann Ziff.
In ten years,
LLIMF has successfully developed music education
programs benefiting children across the world including
Keys of Inspiration™, 101 Pianists™, Young Scholars™ and
Play It Forward™.
Inspiration™ (KOI), one of the most influential programs
of the foundation, weaves rigorous, keyboard-centric
musical instruction into the mandatory curriculum of
selected Title 1 public schools–integrating group piano
classes for grades 2-5, twice a week.
KOI started in
2013 with only two schools and 300 students. As of
September 2018, it has 40 schools enrolled in the
program from across the country, reaching over 16,000
strategic expansion plan, KOI will reach 30,000 students
in 80 schools by 2020”, says chief Executive Officer of
LLIMF, Leszek Barwinski-Brown.