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Meet Carlo Ponti of Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra in Beverly Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlo Ponti.

The Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble devoted to the advocacy and support of music education. Founded in 2013 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization by conductor Carlo Ponti, the ensemble was formed on the core belief that an orchestra is a unique educational resource. The orchestra’s music director, musicians, staff and board members strive to bring the wealth of life-enriching opportunities available through the symphonic musical experience to individuals and students of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

The Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra has created a new paradigm of giving, allocating 100% net revenue from subscription performances to advance music education. The orchestra implements its outreach in collaborative partnerships with the community, schools, agencies and other arts organizations, and puts into action activities designed to advance student learning, development and creativity.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our first performance took place in July 2014 at the Festival Napa Valley. 
Since then, the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra (LAV) has steadily grown and its educational mission and programs have considerably expanded their bandwidth.

Thanks to our sponsors and public, LAV has allocated all the net profit from its subscription performances, totaling over $9,000 dollars to date, to the development of music education programs at its’ current partner schools, which are exemplary institutions that give a special priority to arts education and music programs as part of their curriculum.

Through the funds collected so far from LAV concerts, the Lycée Francais de Los Angeles, Andres and Maria Cardenas Elementary, and San Fernando Elementary School were able to purchase a total of 36 musical instruments, 45 music method books and other musical equipment.

These new resources enabled 7 to 10 additional students to participate in each institution’s music education program, resulting in more than 90 additional hours of music instruction per school each year, thus dramatically expanding and developing each schools’ music education programs.

Starting this year, LAV has developed a partnership plan with the LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program consisting in afterschool music lessons to provide LA’s BEST students with classical music education through violin instruction using instruments purchased with funds donated from the Orchestra, going beyond the purchase of musical instruments and impacting at the curricular level.

These afterschool violin classes will be taught by LAV’s musicians to ensure LA’s BEST students will have the opportunity to learn from the some of the best professional musicians in Los Angeles.

In addition to attending the afterschool violin lessons, students will also be able to attend LAV concerts to see their teachers perform, and LAV’s teachers will attend concerts given by the students enrolled in the afterschool violin lessons.

Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am an orchestral conductor residing in Los Angeles. 
I have always been a strong advocate and supporter of young musical talent and felt the need to create a unique ensemble to advocate and support the study of music.

The study of music is a resource that cannot only help young people find their calling in life but also teaches them skills and promotes qualities that can permanently shape their lives in countless positive ways, regardless of what path they choose.

The gifts imparted by the study of music are countless. To name but a few, music fosters creativity, concentration, empathy, communication, perseverance, teaches cooperation, builds self-esteem and reasoning skills, furthers brain development, helps students stay in school, especially at-risk students and strengthens academic achievement.

The Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra (LAV) envisions a world in which every young person has access to music education. It strives to serve as a catalyst in reaffirming, advocating and supporting music education in schools and in the community.

We monitor our charitable giving to ensure maximum impact, efficiency and transparency. We engage in and support research promoting the benefits of music education and tailor our performances and educational programs to address the community’s distinctive resources and implement our outreach through collaborative partnerships with individuals, stakeholders, policy leaders, schools, districts and institutions.

Committed to its’ educational cause, LAV is the only orchestra in the world which allocates 100% net ticket revenue from subscription performances to advance music education.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment for me so far as Founder and Music Director of the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra is when we were able to fund the first purchase of musical resources for our partner schools from revenue generated from our incipient performances.

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