Haiti benefit not lucrative, but good visibility for crisis relief

Posted on: March 19, 2010

In Thursday’s (3/18) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Lang Lang, the celebrity pianist; Christoph Eschenbach, the conductor; and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra are taking the stage at Carnegie Hall on Sunday night in a concert trumpeted as a fund-raiser for the earthquake-ravaged Haiti. But what ticket buyers may not realize is that far more of their dollars will go toward concert-hall rent and marketing than to anyone in Haiti, with the biggest chunks going to stagehands and newspaper advertisements. Even if the event’s nearly $200,000 worth of tickets sell out, less than $8,000 from the sales will go to the cause. … The performers, including Mr. Lang, are waiving their fees. Officials of Unicef, the actual aid recipient, say that no matter how much money is earned, keeping Haiti in the public’s consciousness after the earthquake headlines have faded is invaluable.” Wakin states that “orchestras—nonprofit organizations that are generally short of cash—don’t often go in much for benefit concerts. Recent exceptions included events to help the Louisiana Philharmonic after Hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans. On a different front, a number of orchestras are conducting a nationwide food drive, now in its second year, led partly by the League of American Orchestras.”

Posted March 19, 2010