A Close Look at the Benefit Concert

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Following last week's earthquake in Haiti, delivering aid has been a priority--after rescuing survivors. In fact, if you had a night free this week, wanted to donate money to earthquake victims and enjoy some music at the same time, you might have attended a benefit concert.

Haitian-American Violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and D.J. Spooky are playing a benefit concert for earthquake victims in Albany, New York on Friday evening. In Washington, D.C., the proceeds from Iván Fischer conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, tenor Stig Andersen and mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde at the Kennedy Center are going to Haiti. And this Sunday and Monday, classical star Joshua Bell will perform at another benefit at City Winery, which is organized by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. And there are many more.

Everyone wants to lend a hand when there's a crisis, but is spending money at a benefit concert the best way to contribute?

In this week's Arts File on WQXR, WNYC's Kerry Nolan gets an in-depth look at benefit shows with Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. For more on the subject, tune into Soundcheck, at 2 PM on Friday, on 93.9 FM WNYC to hear John Schaefer talk to Ken Berger, head of the watchdog group Charity Navigator, and Daniel Bernard Roumain about the merits and the success rate of the concerts.

Benefit Concert for China Earthquake
American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter/flickr
Benefit Concert for China Earthquake
Ben Gibbard playing at a tsunami benefit relief concert in 2005
lookslikeamy/flickr
Ben Gibbard playing at a tsunami benefit relief concert in 2005
Hurricane Katrina benefit concert organized in Prague, Czech Republic
wendyfairy/flickr
Hurricane Katrina benefit concert organized in Prague, Czech Republic
Melbourne Sound Relief Concert, that was held for victims of the Bushfire Desaster in Victoria, Australia
alexkess/flickr
Melbourne Sound Relief Concert, that was held for victims of the Bushfire Desaster in Victoria, Australia

Guests:

Stacy Palmer

Contributors:

Matthew Sollars and Abbie Fentress Swanson
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