" Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
PUS 1 FOUNDATION
Formed by an international team of performing artists, the OPUS 1 FOUNDATION believes in the power of the arts to inspire individuals, change communities, and combat current issues around the globe.
In February 2016, Co-Founders Violinist Christopher Coritsidis & Pianist Jorge Viladoms, traveled to Kenya to foster greater awareness on the benefits of arts education - particularly for youth living in districts of extreme poverty. Witnessing how music, dance and theater were affording these young men & women opportunities to expand their horizons and the ripple effect it had within their community, they were moved to build an organization where artists would become architects of change.
Since then, the O1 Team has been challenging itself to answer questions beginning with: How can the arts...?
How can the arts create opportunities for children & young adults to reach their full potential?
How can the arts help to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease, and social inequalities?
How can the arts unite people of different nations, creeds, orientations and backgrounds to promote a stronger global community?
As a Foundation, we align ourselves, our strategies and resources in finding solutions to these challenges worldwide in cooperation with our artist ambassadors, national governments, international development agencies, private companies, and academic & cultural institutions, as well as other nonprofits and philanthropies.
In partnership with the Art of Music, the Opus 1 Foundation presented its first benefit gala event at Kenya's National Theatre in Nairobi on August 25th, 2016 to raise funds for its partner's programs. Featuring the outstanding Artist Ambassadors of Opus 1's August Residency, Violinist Christopher CORITSIDIS & Pianist Jorge VILADOMS returned in performance with international soprano, Anastasiya ROYTMAN, and László KUTI, Principal Clarinetist of the Munich Philharmonic. Principal Dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet, Ulrik BIRKKJÆR and Holly DORGER, performed together with magical scenography by Geoffroy DUVAL on this evening of music, dance and charity.
The Art of Music Foundation was established in 2009 to promote the performance and appreciation of classical music in Kenya and use it’s transformative power to change lives, particularly of those living in impoverished regions of the country. The foundation exists to utilize music as a tool in order to make a difference in the lives of young Kenyans. With its traditions of structure, discipline and excellence, classical music can offer a great awakening and opportunity on a broader spectrum for Kenyan youth.
"What is most striking from our first interaction with the children of the 'Art of Music' program, particularly 'Ghetto Classics', was their thirst for knowledge and the resources to improve and maximize their skills as young musicians. While inspiring, it is also disheartening to see (and hear) a child wanting to play a violin yet... there is no violin! This was unfortunately the scenario we encountered throughout our trip - an immense passion for learning and making music, yet, little to nothing [lack of instruments, instructors, funding] in order to turn that passion into a reality.
This is where we step in - we've come, as professional performing artists, to bring awareness to the needs of these wonderful kids and offer our support for the programs which invest in their future and their education."
Learn more about the Opus 1 Foundation by visiting www.opus1foundation.org
Beginning January 2016, Christopher assumes the role of an Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
“My grandmother, Anna, and her illness shaped the lives of those around her… and I believe for the better. I’ve learned to be grateful for the challenges of life, as well as the simpler things, and the lessons we come to learn through them. It’s because of her that I welcome every path that life sets out for me to walk. My grandmother didn’t have that luxury - which is why I choose to take those extra steps for her today, tomorrow and every day.”
In his role as an ambassador for the National MS Society, Christopher looks forward to advocating for reform in national public health policies and to drawing more attention to and funding for MS treatments and research, in addition to participating in events and developing projects with the Society.
Visit the society's website to learn more:
En Route to Korogocho with the O1 Team to work with the kids of Ghetto Classics. Filmed on Christopher Coritsidis's iPhone
Benefit Concert for the VOICES OF SEPTEMBER 11th ORGANIZATION
Violinist Christopher Coritsidis joins Soprano Anastasiya Roytman in a 9/11 Memorial Concert. All proceeds were donated to the VOICES of SEPTEMBER 11th Organization to aid them in their mission to provide for the families of servicemen and victims of the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.
For further information on the VOICES of SEPTEMBER 11th Organization, CLICK HERE.
Benefit Concert for the SAINT BASIL ACADEMY
Alongside Pianist Maria Pikoula, Violinist Christopher Coritsidis performs a benefit concert for the children of the St. Basil Academy in Garrison, New York. All proceeds were donated to the St. Basil Academy, an institution which houses, educates and guides children in need.
For further information, visit www.saintbasilacademy.org