Midori & Friends Appoints New Executive Director: Larisa Gelman

June 3, 2021, 1:06 PM · The outreach program Midori & Friends has been bringing music education programs to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public school students in New York City for nearly 30 years, and this spring the organization has named Larisa Gelman as its new Executive Director.

Larisa Gelman Midori and Friends
Left, Midori & Friends new Executive Director Larisa Gelman; right; violinist Midori.

As Executive Director, Gelman will serve as leader, manager, fundraiser, and ambassador of the program. A bassoonist with BA and BM from Oberlin College/Conservatory and a master’s degree in performance from Yale University, Gelman is also a former Midori & Friends teaching artist who founded ReThink Arts Consulting and created the Center for Education Outreach at 92Y in NYC with the objective of ensuring a place for dance, music, visual art and the theater arts in the core curriculum of public schools.

Established in in 1992 by superstar violinist Midori, Midori & Friends aims to advance music education in New York City public schools. The programs are offered at no cost to students and are available to all children regardless of their musical ability, education, or economic background. In its nearly 30 years, the program has reached more than 300,000 young people in 70 New York City schools who have little or no access to the arts.

"It is truly an honor and a privilege to be welcomed back to Midori & Friends in the role of Executive Director," Gelman said. "I look forward to continuing the stellar work that has been done by the organization; ensuring that music instruction is accessible for all students, bringing forth fresh new voices and musical ideas, and creating new pathways for leadership in the arts for future generations."

Midori, who was a 2021 Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Honoree, will be honored by Midori & Friends in a special online tribute tonight (click here for more information). She continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the organization, with the title Founder & President Emerita.

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June 7, 2021 at 10:58 AM · There is a restaurant called the Midori in London N10. Must visit it some time.

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