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With its social and musical initiatives, the activities of the Vienna Philharmonic in the area of the education of young people extend beyond Austria's borders. During its recent world tour and as part of the 20th annual Vienna Philharmonic Week in New York, the orchestra performed a benefit concert for the National Academy Foundation under the direction of Zubin Mehta in Carnegie Hall, with Lang Lang as soloist.
The National Academy Foundation is a foundation which supports high school students by way of a system of supplemental education programs within the schools and is directed particularly at minority students. The program has proved to be a major success, with 80% of the participants going on directly to pursue a college education.
The founder and president of the National Academy Foundation, Sandy Weill, was greatly impressed with the efforts of the orchestra on behalf of the foundation: “The National Academy Foundation was thrilled that the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra donated a concert on February 25, 2009, at Carnegie Hall to benefit thousands of high school students. Everyone attending the concert was touched not only by the beautiful music, but by the generosity of Clemens Hellsberg and the entire Orchestra. Our sincere thanks go out to everyone associated with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for making this memorable night possible.”