This evening the non-profit organization MATA held their annual Benefit Gala at the Tibet House in NYC.
MATA is a non-profit organization that has been commissioning and presenting works from talented young composers since 1996. The group was founded by Philip Glass (Composer / Keyboardist), Elenor Sandresky (Composer / Pianist), and Lisa Bielawa (Composer / Vocalist).
The event tonight consisted of live performances, food and drinks, and a silent auction containing the artistic works of Kristin Jones, Tim Davis, Joan Snyder, Anna Schuleit, Theo Bleckmann, and many others.
Philip Glass, co founder of the group MATA and groundbreaking composer was in attendance and gave a lecture. Glass is one of the highest regarded composers of our time and considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century.
Along side Glass, Steve Reich and Jennifer Bifeld were there to honor the Kronos Quartet. The prestigious Kronos Quartet (String Quartet) has now been preforming works from composers of all kinds for since 1973.
The Kronos Quartet has had many players in its history, but currently is comprised of David Harrington, John Sherba (Violins), Hank Dutt (Viola), and Jeffery Zeigler (Cello). The group has commissioned over 750 new compositions and arrangements for string quartets in all styles internationally. In 2011 the Kronos Quartet became the only group to receive both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize (two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians). The night’s benefit was to honor this groups dedication to preforming new music and through art empowering people, ideas, and culture.
At the event the silent auction included everything from Antique maps of Manhattan to collections of hand-written sketches and drafts from the MATA festival alumni. From 1996 to today, MATA has commissioned over 70 works and has had over 275 performances of compositions from young aspiring composers.
The night was sponsored by Bridget Hanretta O’Brien, Danesi Caffe, Hachette Book Group, The Sherry Netherland, The Brooklyn Brewery, SLICE, and Soy Spacasso with all proceeds going directly towards the commissioning and performance of young composers works during the upcoming MATA 2013 Festival of New Music. On board of this years 2012 Benefit Committee included: Amanda Ambrose, Chelsea Bai, Yotam Harber, Kristina Kinet, David T. Little, James Rosenfield, and Pamela Stein.
This event was truly unique and inspirational and will fund the talent of the next generation of artists.