Mitzvah Hero: Mimi Stillman, an internationally acclaimed flutist from Center City and founder of the Dolce Suono Ensemble, has made some sweet sounds on the mitzvah front.
What It’s All About: The musician regularly plays benefit concerts for charitable organizations. She's currently on a year-long salute to classical composer Debussy, a tour that began last Aug. 22 in the Roman theater at Bet She’an in Israel on what would have been the late composer’s 150th birthday, and concluding this year on the same date. A concert for the Mercer Alliance Against Homelessness in New Jersey as well as a performance benefitting Israeli victims of terrorism particularly hit home, the Yamaha Performing Artist says.
She also offers sound advice on the advantages of a good musical education via her Dolce Suono Ensemble. She's made community and educational outreach a key part of the ensemble’s activities ever since she founded the group in 2005, offering presentations and coachings in Philadelphia public schools. Such outreach often takes on a Spanish accent — Stillman is fluent in the language — with the "Musica en Tus Manos" program, which "involves bringing great chamber music to the centers of the Latino community in North and South Philadelphia and involves them in interactive events," the musician says.
Not a One-Time Thing: Stillman, who was the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music when she was 12 years old, has long been active in Jewish communal activities. She rolls that interest over to her professional accomplishments as well, seeking a "Jewish kinship, taking on projects that enable me to explore my Jewish identity musically," efforts she deems "important and meaningful."
Good for Her: By giving back to the community through musical outreach, Stillman says she's only reaching back to those who helped her along the way, including her parents, Ronni Gordon and David Stillman, authors and former Harvard professors.