I was fortunate to be raised in an environment where arts and culture were not only part of our education but an essential part of life.
Of all the arts, music is the one I developed and know best. My grandmother was a violinist and my mother a pianist. While I studied piano and love it, I would not pretend to be a pianist. But music has inhabited my entire life. I still practice singing with the Master Voices in New York when time allows. It is always a joy to discover the beauty of so many voices in harmony to produce unique choral works. I also built a relationship with an Orchestra that was often playing with the Chorale: the Saint Luke’s Orchestra. It is the form of art I practiced throughout my entire life and continue to enjoy.
Recently, I was approached to help supporting the Music Fund. Music Fund is a humanitarian project that supports musicians and music schools in conflict areas and developing countries. Music Fund collects instruments, repairs them and gives them a second life in 16 projects in Africa, the Middle East and Central America! Music Fund also trains instrument repairers and offers the exchange of teaching skills.
Particularly moving is the story of the grand piano of Gaza, broadcast by the BBC.
I have recently become involved with the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium, as part of the organization’s launching of “The American Friends of the Music Chapel,” an American network of partners, supporters and collaborators.
The Chapel has distinguished itself for nearly eight decades as a preeminent institution for the training and development of excellence for exceptional young musical talents.
The immense diversity of the picturesque art from the origin of mankind to today continues to overwhelm me. Museums are part of our normal travel schedules and we constantly admire the talent of those, known or unknown, who have managed to transmit their vision of reality through painting, drawing, and other pictorial techniques.
I am particularly fond of the paintings of our friend Colette Bitker, a French artist living in Brussels.
Recently I was privileged to discover Chinese contemporary art through the eyes of the promoters of the Long Museum. The Long Museum is a private art museum in Shanghai, China, founded by Liu Yiqian and his wife Wang Wei. The museum has two locations: the Long Museum Pudong and Long Museum West Bund. They have become the most important private Museums in Shanghai. They recently bought Modigilani’s naked woman.
Whether it is small streets of Provence’s, Roman Churches, the Great Wall or the Taj Mahal, the discovery of architectural marvels has been made possible through my travel experience. It always added some dimension to these journeys as it created the story of human beings creating the environment for their lives, inspired by beauty, love or religion.
How people, nature and architecture blend is a unique combination.