Franz Welser-Möst is the music director for both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera. Isabel Trautwein is a violinist in the Orchestra who has launched El Sistema@Rainey, an intensive after-school orchestral program in inner-city Cleveland. Both feel very strongly about the value of music education and that a very important role for the leadership and the orchestra is to advance and further that mission throughout the community in which they live and work.
Franz believes cultural education is a prerequisite for a healthy society but also recognizes that the emphasis on cultural education is waning. While cultural education is given a high priority in many developing countries, this is not the case in the US. His passion about this issue is manifested in his personal commitment, which is highly unusual for the music director of a major orchestra and opera house given their demanding schedules. Isabel has witnessed first-hand how music education not only teaches discipline, self-expression, conflict management and peer interaction, but can also lead to increased school attendance, improved social behavior and reduced drop-out rates. Both Franz and Isabel are passionate about music and education, and about the future role of cultural education in our society.