Concert will help feed the hungry
David Hollander, a concert pianist and local business owner, will perform Beethoven’s Archduke Trio alongside cellist Gunnar Sahlin and violinist Nina Crothers during a benefit concert at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, Jan. 24, to help feed the hungry.
All the proceeds from the 3 p.m. concert will go toward the WiltonInterfaith Action Committee (Wi-ACT) 2016 Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging event on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the WEPCO Church Complex on New Canaan Road. Donations of $10 are requested. Checks may be made payable to “Stop Hunger Now” with “Wi-ACT” in the memo. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has coordinated the distribution of more than 180 million packaged meals to children and families in 65 countries since 1998.
Hollander said classical music, like Beethoven’s Archduke Trio, is “a wonderful art form that deserves to be heard.”
“To hear it, it’s a transcendent experience because it expresses the same kind of humanity and love and care for your fellow man that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony does,” he said.
“There’s a relationship between great art and charity, because great art humanizes us, and I’m committed to the goals of Stop Hunger Now because it helps us be more sensitive to each other and we want to be supportive of this very wonderful organization.”
The benefit concert is sponsored by Dampits International Inc., owned by Hollander and his wife, Tair, which creates original humidifiers for string instruments. The cost of the concert will be underwritten by the company.
Since moving to Wilton 17 years ago, the Hollanders have offered a monthly Sunday salon, during which David plays to seasoned music lovers and newcomers.
“His commitment to introducing great music to new listeners is particularly close to his heart,” said his wife.
“For this reason, he hopes to reach an audience who would otherwise never get to hear these inspiring works, and who would like to support Stop Hunger Now.”
To get ready for the concert, Hollander said, he, Sahlin and Crothers have been “rehearsing and learning each other’s playing.”
Hollander said Beethoven’s Archduke Trio is “a wonderful piece for people who don’t know classical music.”
“To hear Beethoven’s Archduke Trio is to love it,” he said. “The concert will give people the chance to hear music actually happening — music being made in the moment.”
Hollander said the goal of the concert is to raise “as much money as possible” for Stop Hunger Now, which, he noted, is “an ongoing and not a one-time fund-raising effort.
“It’s something that we should all be concerned about because when children are hungry, they can’t learn,” he said.
Hollander said he is looking forward to “the act of playing and the act of performing, and the pleasure of seeing people be gratified and excited by the music” while supporting a good cause.
Sahlin studied at the Academy of Music in Prague, Czechoslovakia, for three years before joining the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1975. With the orchestra, Sahlin toured across Europe and the United States.
He also studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City during a sabbatical, and in 1987, performed for and learned from Yo-Yo Ma in a master class at the Stockholm Concert Hall.
After moving to the United States in 1988, Sahlin became a freelance musician in Fairfield County and New York. He became principal cellist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra in 2002 and conductor of the Fairfield County Symphony Society in 2003.
Sahlin also teaches private violin lessons in his Stamford home.
Crothers is an active freelance musician who has performed throughout the Northeast. She studied the violin at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, where she received the Bach Society Prize for excellence in music.
She received her master of music degree from the Juilliard School and her doctor of musical arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she was awarded a cultural grant from the American Scandinavian Society for her research on Finnish violin music.
Crothers studied chamber music with Felix Galimir and members of the Tokyo and Juilliard string quartets and served as chair of the String and Theory/Literature departments at the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City and director of the school’s Certificate Program.
A former faculty member of Fairfield University, the Luzerne Music Center, and the Greenwich House Music School, Crothers joined the faculty of the Suzuki Music School of Westport in 2005. She also teaches privately in Fairfield.
To learn more about Dampits, visit mcssl.com/store/dampits.