LiveConnections' Bridge Sessions and in-school residencies provide interactive educational opportunities for youth from city schools & people with disabilities.


Our LiveConnections Presents concert series features collaborative concerts designed for adventurous music-lovers.


We prioritize accessibility for people with disabilities through Bridge Sessions, workshops & live webcasts.

Written by Melinda Steffy   
Published on Monday, 27 October 2014 10:30

LiveConnections is thrilled to announce our new commissioning project, "The New Sound of Philadelphia." Funded in part by a Presser Foundation 75th Anniversary grant, this project will feature boundary-crossing world premieres by Philly composers for Philly artists over the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 ClassicAlive seasons.

"The New Sound of Philadelphia" comprises three concerts and includes major commissions by three Philadelphia composers with distinct backgrounds, each writing for a Philadelphia-based ensemble that specializes in concert music:

  • Andrew Lipke (rock) writing for the Aizuri Quartet, with the world premiere on November 6, 2014;
  • Uri Caine (jazz) writing for PRISM Quartet, with the world premiere on April 16, 2015; and
  • Kinan Abou-afach (Arab music) writing for Ensemble39, with the world premiere in the spring of 2016.

Concerts will take place at our partner venue World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, where audience-goers may enjoy food and drink and an intimate, laid-back atmosphere.

Each concert will be streamed live online via our LiveStudio program to reach underserved audiences who would not be able to travel to the venue. The project will also tie in to Bridge Sessions, LiveConnections interactive music education sessions for urban youth. Through the LiveStudio and Bridge Session components and the innovative commissions, we aim to reach a wide audience base through this project, pulling together music-lovers from jazz, rock, Arab and classical styles.



Andrew LipkeAndrew Lipke was born in South Africa and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s. A favorite of WXPN and a performer at the city's musical hotspots, Andrew has the distinction of having studied composition with Andrew Rudin. His innovative collaborations with classical artists have included performances with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and writing for string quartets and orchestras. He has recently performed songs from his latest album “The Plague,” with orchestras around the country.

Uri CaineUri Caine was born in Philadelphia in the 1950s and studied composition at the University of Pennsylvania under George Crumb. One of Uri's many acclaimed projects was an album called “The Philadelphia Experiment,” recorded with The Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Christian McBride. He has been performing live in Philadelphia for 35 years as both a classical and jazz pianist and composer.

Kinan Abou-AfachKinan Abou-afach was born in Syria in the 1970s and has trained as a cellist, oud player and composer in both Syria and the United States. Kinan currently lives in Philadelphia and was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2013. He has performed all over the world with ensembles such as the Silk Road Project, Al-Bustan's Takht Ensemble and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. He was commissioned by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture to write “Roads to Damascus,” an interdisciplinary work with visual artist Kevourk Mourad, which premiered in Philadelphia in February 2013.



Aizuri QuartetThe Aizuri Quartet, formed in 2012, is a culmination of years of music-making between its members, from their studies together at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, to their collaborations at storied chamber music festivals like Marlboro, Caramoor and the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. Projects during the 2013-2014 season include a residency at Vermont’s Scrag Mountain Music Festival and performances in New York City, Philadelphia and Memphis. The Aizuri Quartet is a finalist in the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition. Beginning this fall, Aizuri will be the string-quartet-in-residence at the Curtis Institute.

PRISM QuartetPRISM Quartet has been called one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles.Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the “Making Music" series and in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 1997, PRISM initiated its own concert series in Philadelphia and New York City, presenting new compositions created for their ensemble.

Ensemble39Ensemble39 is a string and wind ensemble inspired by Prokofiev’s Quintet, Op. 39. With commissions in the double digits and more underway from some of the best young voices of their generation, E39 seeks to cultivate a new standard instrumentation for chamber music while exciting new audiences. Founded at the Curtis Institute of Music, each member brings their individual musical interpretation and virtuosic flair to the ensemble. Members of Ensemble39 have been featured at the Verbier Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival, and have appeared as soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.


Founded in 2008, LiveConnections creates innovative, boundary-crossing music programming and education out of partner venue World Cafe Live. Through live concerts, interactive programs for youth and video technology, LiveConnections commissions collaborations that join artists from different genres — such as classical, world, jazz and popular styles — to highlight how music crosses cultures and to reimagine the landscape of live music. Our programs reach people who would not normally experience this kind of music, from urban youth to special needs populations to general audiences. ClassicAlive concerts expand how classical music is experienced through cross-genre collaborations, new and engaging repertoire and a relaxed atmosphere. The 2014-2015 season features six concerts highlighting artists who write and perform their own original music. For more information, visit

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April 17, 2017 — Help us raise $40,000 in 10 days through our annual Kids Count Campaign! Proceeds support our interactive Bridge Sessions; our in-school residencies where students write poetry, create their own drums and record original songs; our distinctive music education that inspires learning about collaboration, identity, social change and more.

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LiveConnections is grateful for the support of numerous individuals, companies and foundations who believe in our mission and help make our programs possible.
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Big Hurrah Sponsors:
(as of 10/24/2017)

$5000 School Sponsor

Drexel University


Fox Rothschild


Philly Music Fest


World Cafe Live





$2500 Collaboration Sponsor

Brandywine Realty






Dranoff Properties


Pepper Hamilton


University of Pennsylvania





$1000 Connecting Sponsors



Ballard Spahr






Cozen O'Connor


Curtis Institute of Music


Jonathan Fink Group




ITEM Media


Law Rocks


Philadelphia Insurance Companies


RSK Advisory


TGS Financial



$500 Sponsors
The Art Shop
Benjamin Cobrin & Company
BWA architecture + planning
Coscia Moos Architecture, LLC
Grace Tavern
Keystone First
Dr. Karyn Scher
W. Michael Tuman, DMD
University City Science Center



Connector Award



Business Support



Foundation Support 2016-2017:
Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation
Corrine R. & Henry Bower Memorial Trust
CHG Charitable Trust
Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation
The Allen Hilles Fund
Independence Foundation
Patricia Kind Family Foundation
Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation
Christopher Ludwick Foundation
The Presser Foundation
Rosenlund Family Foundation
Caroline J.S. Sanders Trust
The Scholler Foundation
Howell Lockhart Seiple Trust
Seybert Foundation
Joseph Kennard Skilling Trust
Paula Steinebach Trust
Strauss Foundation
Union Benevolent Association
Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial
Wyncote Foundation



Additional Support:

LiveConnections is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.



Additional support provided in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, tax ID 26-2666641. The official registration and financial information of may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.