About the Maestro Foundation

The Maestro Foundation nurtures young classical musicians and encourages the appreciation of classical music.

Board of Directors
Aaron Mendelsohn, Chairman
Ronald Lebel, Treasurer
Robin Stanton, Secretary
Robert Cutietta
Randi Jones
Marvin Jubas
Adam Mendelsohn

501(c)(3) status
Established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity in 1984, the Maestro Foundation has been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore, all, or substantially all, of any contributions made toward membership should be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Tax ID #95-3894013


The Maestro Foundation was established in 1984 by three music-loving businessmen: V. Shannon Clyne, Qamar Lodhie and Aaron Mendelsohn. They came together to help one promising young musician in pursuit of his career. Since then, Maestro's mission has expanded steadily to help many young musicians in need of support.

In 1989, Chairman Aaron Mendelsohn began presenting concerts in his residence designed specifically for chamber music. With the goal of raising funds to support gifted musicians, the Maestro Chamber Music Society has since evolved into one of the pre-eminent series of its kind. Many of these private concerts have been broadcast on Classical K-USC and National Public Radio's "Performance Today," heard on more than 100 stations nationwide.

The Maestro Foundation has established distinct programs, awarded scholarships, and provided assistance for local music programs in support of classical musicians. In 2000, the Instrument Lending Program began acquiring professional quality bows and instruments to help young musicians pursue their career goals. The Instrument Endowment Fund was created to facilitate these acquisitions.

In 2003, music teachers Peter Park and John Redfield started an elementary string orchestra in the Santa Monica public school district funded by Maestro. The Elemental Strings Program was created to encourage students to continue their studies in music through middle school, high school, and beyond. Elemental Strings has grown to become a proud partner to the elementary music programs of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

In 2004, the Maestro Foundation launched the Maestro Chamber Music Academy (MCMA), a program providing unique chamber music mentoring to promising young musicians. Musical traditions passed from one generation to the next as participants studied and performed chamber music alongside prominent professionals. MCMA mentors included violinists Arnold Steinhardt and Ani Kavafian, pianists Ralf Gothóni and Ricardo Castro, the Ysaÿe Quartet and many others.

For over 30 years, the Maestro Foundation has dedicated its resources to nurturing young musicians and audiences. We pride ourselves on the achievements and efficiency of programming and the effective use of funds. This is the result of a passionate Board of Directors, dedicated staff and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Performance Highlights

Over its twenty-six year history, The Maestro Foundation has presented a concert series with many of chamber music’s most accomplished artists:

Academy of St. Martin in the
Fields Chamber Ensemble

Emanuel Ax, piano

Sergei Babayan, piano

Yefim Bronfman, piano

The Chamber Music Society of
Lincoln Center

Jeremy Denk, piano

James Ehnes, violin

Emerson String Quartet

David Finckel, cello & Wu Han, piano

Leon Fleisher, piano

Kirill Gerstein, piano

Richard Goode, piano

Nathan Gunn, baritone

Hagen Quartet

Marc-André Hamelin, piano

Lynn Harrell, cello

Steven Isserlis, cello

Ani Kavafian, violin

Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano

Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Elmar Oliveira, violin

Richard O’Neill, viola

Pascal Rogé, piano

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin

Sergey Schepkin, piano

Schubert Ensemble

Arnold Steinhardt, violin

Takács Quartet

Tallis Scholars

Tokyo String Quartet

Elisso Virsaladze, piano

Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano

Ysaÿe Quartet


Photo Credits:
MCMA: Kathryn Ballsun
Miralles "Lebel" Viola: Kathryn Ballsun
Elemental Strings: Kathryn Ballsun
Instrument Creation: Brenda Miralles
MCMA 2: Kathryn Ballsun
Elemental Strings 2: Kathryn Ballsun