MUSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
MFHR is a worldwide network of musicians who promote a culture of human rights and social engagement. Founded in 2009 by world-renowned horn player Alessio Allegrini and a group of musicians and humanists active on four continents, MFHR encourages musicians of all levels—students, professionals, and amateurs—as well as audiences to consider how they can advance the well-being of others. MFHR is the organizational and legal entity that oversees the activities of the Human Rights Orchestra.
Together with renowned human rights professors, MFHR is creating curricula for music conservatories and university master degree programs in human rights.
HUMAN RIGHTS ORCHESTRA
The Human Rights Orchestra was the first major initiative of Musicians For Human Rights. The Orchestra is comprised of soloists, chamber musicians, university professors, and members of leading orchestras of the world who gather together under the leadership of conductor Alessio Allegrini. HRO performs concerts to raise funds for high-impact charities, whether regional or international in scope, and have several times appeared at KKL in Lucerne invited by the International Human Rights Forum Lucerne. Guest soloists have included Maria João Pires, Hélène Grimaud, Laurie Rubin, and Isabelle Faust. The Orchestra annually commissions a new work inspired by human rights events, champions, or principles.
Founder and Music Director of the Human Rights Orchestra, conductor, hornist
Alessio Allegrini has performed as solo or principal horn with virtually all of the world’s leading conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Myung-Whun Chung, Bernard Haitink, and Daniel Barenboim. Winner of prizes in both the Prague Spring International Competition and the Munich International Competition, Mr. Allegrini held first chair in the Orchestra of La Scala for eight years, and subsequently served as guest principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic for a season, including their residency at the Salzburg Festival, numerous recordings and DVDs. Since 2004, he has been the principal horn soloist with the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
At the invitation of Claudio Abbado, Mr. Allegrini has served as principal horn of the Mozart Orchestra and as solo first horn of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Highlights of past seasons include a European tour as solo horn in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons; Strauss Horn Concerto No. 2 with La Scala under Riccardo Muti; and Mozart concertos under Claudio Abbado.
In 2012 Deutsche Grammophon released the four Mozart horn concertos recorded live with Mr. Allegrini as soloist with Mr. Abbado. Mr. Allegrini is an International Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy in London and holds master classes in Europe, South America, and Japan.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MUSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Julian Fifer is an artist manager, producer of concerts, opera, recordings and educational materials, and former cellist. As cellist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for its first 18 years, he performed in hundreds of cities on four continents. Mr. Fifer founded Orpheus in 1972 and was executive director for 26 years. He guided the ensemble from a counterculture startup to the top echelon of the concert and recording businesses.
For decades, Orpheus was the only orchestra in the world where the musicians ran the rehearsals and decided seating positions for every piece of music. Fifer conceived it as a conductorless ensemble in which all the musicians would share both the artistic opportunities and responsibilities, a model now emulated by a new generation of musicians. He identified and selected the musicians to form a virtuoso ensemble capable of performing at the highest international standard of excellence. In 1984, Fifer negotiated the largest record contract held by an American orchestra, resulting in the production of over 50 discs for Deutsche Grammophon in a twelve-year span. He developed relationships for the ensemble with virtually all the major international festivals and music centers, including London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Salzburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and forged collaborations with leading soloists of the day, including Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Richard Goode, Radu Lupu, Anne Sophie von Otter, Gil Shaham, Wynton Marsalis, Alfred Brendel, Gidon Kremer, and Dawn Upshaw.
Having positioned the orchestra as an organizational model to help corporations address employee motivation, problem-solving, and job satisfaction, Fifer has been engaged by multinational corporations to speak about creating and sustaining effective teamwork and enhancing creativity and quality. As strategic advisor and worldwide booking manager to the Venice Baroque Orchestra, he has built an unprecedented concert and recording career for an Italian period-instrument ensemble, including many recordings for Sony and Deutsche Grammophon.
In 2000, with composer and educator Bruce Adolphe, Fifer co-founded The Learning Maestros, a company dedicated to creating new works and related curricula that integrate music with other disciplines, including science, literature, history, and issues of social conscience. At The Learning Maestros, Fifer and Adolphe believe that placing music and the arts at the center of engaged living enriches both the individual and society.
Driven by a passion to create ideal balances between music and place, performer and audience, Fifer founded and ran the Venice Music Festival for three years commencing in 2004. The Festival brought new life to neglected manuscripts through historically informed performances, fostered emerging talent, and commissioned new work.
A native New Yorker, Fifer started playing the cello at age six at the Manhattan School of Music, attended the Bronx High School of Science, studied chamber music at the Juilliard School, and received his B.A. in liberal arts from Columbia University. He resides in Portland, Oregon.