The merciless Madoff has taken toll on music, too

Depressing reading this morning from Dan Wakin of the Times. It's a report on how the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, which has awarded valuable scholarships to musicians for decades, saw its $14 million endowment disappear in the Madoff Ponzi operation.

The foundation is having to cut back severely on those scholarships, which, in years past, went to promising students with such names as Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman and Daniel Barenboim. It would be, well, criminal, if ... 

budding and needy talents find their artistic paths blocked by the foundation's cutbacks, all because of Madoff.

I don't think we're close to understanding the full story of this massive and merciless scheme, which has taken such a toll on so many individuals and on so many worthy philanthropic organizations. Last week's Frontline report just scratched the surface.

At least we know that music, and all the other great impulses that spring from our better selves, will always outlast the creeps and crooks of the world. 

To get the thought of that smug Madoff out of our minds, at least for a moment, here's Barenboim, a beneficiary of the America-Israel Foundation in her early days, playing the sublime Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations.  



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