Symphony of Support

December 2, 2009 | Graduate Center, Newsmakers

Listening to fellow student musicians as they struggled with realities of New York life, Xheni Rroji thought of a way to help. In 2008, Rroji, who is studying for her doctorate in piano performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, founded the Ossia Symphony Orchestra, a not-for-profit based at the Graduate Center that provides support for students and professional musicians through scholarships and income opportunities. “It was so sad to see musicians who, after spending their lives studying and performing, changed careers because they couldn’t pay their bills,” said Albania-born Rroji, who moved from Paris in 1998 to study music in New York. She discusses Ossia’s mission, its goal of bringing classical music to George Washington High School on the Upper West Side and its plans to work with other schools in the city.
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