The Best Medicine? Enjoying an Evening with the World Doctors Orchestra
Inaugural concert held in 2008 at the Berlin Philharmonie in Germany
When Dr. Jonathan Lass isn't busy as the leading man of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he picks up his cello and immerses himself in chamber music. "I was inspired to go into ophthalmology by doctors that I played with in high school who were very happy performing chamber music and who also loved their profession," says Dr. Lass, who has been a cellist for 50 years. "In ophthalmology, we don't have as many emergencies so there's potentially a little more time for music making."
On February 8, Lass and other musical medical professionals will exchange their white physicians' coats for gowns and tuxedos at the World Doctors Orchestra concert at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. The upcoming concert will feature Cleveland's Cavani Quartet violinist Annie Fullard, cellist Saeunn Thorsteindottir , and pianist Sergei Babayan performing works from Copland, Beethoven, and Brahms. Proceeds will go to the Cleveland Free Medical Clinic and the Hugo Tempelman Foundation.
True to its name, the orchestra consists of doctors from all around the world. Its inaugural concert in May 2008 at the Berlin Philharmonie in Germany saw players represent 13 countries under the direction of founder, physician, conductor, and violinist Dr. Stefan Willich, the director of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics at the Charite University Medical Center in Berlin. There the ensemble, which paid out-of-pocket for travel expenses, raised funds for the Tempelman Foundation in South Africa and the Hilfswerk Indien in India. Violinist Peter Zazofsky was the soloist. "It was a life changing experience," Lass says.
For details, visit world-doctors-orchestra.org.