Dominican violinist, Aisha Syed, returns to Carnegie Hall on October 10 at 8:30 PM, after her acclaimed sold-out performance at Weill Recital Hall in 2018. The performance, this time in Zankel Hall, is part of her Heritage World Tour which takes her to 11 countries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
The New York-based Dominican Heritage and Culture Society (DHCS) presents the performance as their third annual concert, this year titled “Heritage,” with proceeds supporting their newly-established scholarship fund. The DHCS Scholarship will be given to underserved young Dominican talents pursuing their dreams in music, art, history, literature, and the performing arts.
“With these scholarships, DHCS strives to support, promote, encourage, inspire and stimulate the creativity of our young Dominican leaders, creating new Ambassadors for our community who will continue the legacy of previous generations while becoming the voice of a promising future. To celebrate the achievements of our current leaders, this year we are thrilled to establish a tradition of honoring tremendous influences in the Dominican community. I’m delighted to announce the 2019 honorees – former United States Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso and humanitarian doctor Dr. Ramon Tallaj. Julissa and Ramon – in addition to Aisha who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Dominican Republic – are wonderful role models for our young leaders,” says Fresia Olivero Momani, Founder and President of The Dominican Heritage and Culture Society.
A native to the Dominican Republic, Julissa has extensive policy and legal experience, engaging both as a lawyer in private practice and as a senior diplomat on behalf of the United States Government. Julissa’s extensive experience includes analyzing and advising on complex cross-border litigations, investigations and disputes before U.S. Courts and Agencies.
Also born in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Ramon Tallaj actively participates in a variety of institutions dedicated to improving the lives of all New Yorkers including SOMOS Community Care, which he helped found in 2015 as the only physician-led performance provider system participating in New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). As a humanitarian committed to promoting human welfare, Dr. Tallaj has led numerous health care missions to the Caribbean over the course of his career.
Violinist Syed has been hailed as the “future of classical music in the Dominican Republic” by Maestro Carlos Piantini. For her Carnegie Hall debut in 2018, Strings Magazine praised her “inspired, technically secure playing” saying she “maintained an air of unflappable poise.”
Syed’s Heritage project is a conglomerate of pieces that form her musical identity as a Dominican with an Indian background growing up in the United Kingdom who later moved to the United States. In the words of Syed, “As the world becomes more globalized it can be puzzling finding a place one belongs in. But by embracing each and every heritage that forms part of who I am, I have found that unique voice which defines me within society. Heritage follows the journey of searching for my musical identity through an array of wonderful pieces that best describe where I come from.”
The evening concert will be hosted by Evi Siskos, an actress, producer, author, and NY Emmy-nominated television host of shows on the Telemundo network, such as Impuestos y Finanzas and Acceso Total. Pianist Martin Labazevitch performs with Syed.
Tickets, $125-150 ($75 for seniors and students with valid ID), in support of the Dominican Heritage and Culture Society, are available at carnegiehall.org, the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. DHCS is also offering a special discount code, ABC32456, for 25% off.
About Aisha Syed
Designated by President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic as her country’s Honorary Goodwill Cultural Ambassador, Aisha Syed has performed all over the world in venues such as the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, in addition to performing on BBC Radio 3.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Aisha quickly established herself as a child prodigy, making her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at 11 years old. At 13, she moved to England to become the first Latina to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School where she received a scholarship from the British Government through the Music and Dance Scheme. She also studied at the Royal College of Music receiving the prestigious Soirée d’Or full scholarship. Aisha was also offered a full scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where renowned cellist Jacqueline Du Pré studied.
In 2010, Aisha co-founded the Music for Life Foundation in her home country, which seeks to bring classical music to the less fortunate. She is a devout Christian and dedicates all her performances to God.
About Julissa Reynoso
Julissa Reynoso is currently a partner at the law firm of Winston & Strawn. Julissa has conducted arbitrations under the major international rules and managed bilateral investment treaty disputes under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central American, Caribbean and Cuban Affairs in the US Department of State. While in this role, Julissa was charged with developing comprehensive security and rule of law strategies for Central America and the Caribbean.
Julissa is the recipient of the highest diplomat honors bestowed by several Latin American governments. Julissa serves on the boards of several nonprofit and advocacy organizations, and was on the faculty of Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Julissa serves as trustee for New York Attorney General Letitia James’s transition committee. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Julissa holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia Law School.
About Ramon Tallaj
Ramon Tallaj attended Medical School at Universidad Nacional Pedro Enriquez Ureña (UNPHU) where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1981. After great success both in the Dominican Republic and New York, Dr. Tallaj completed his Internship in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and obtained his American Board of Internal Medicine Certification that same year. Dr. Tallaj established his private practice inWashington Heights in 1997 where he continues to serve his community.
Dr. Ramon Tallaj is the Chairman of the Board of SOMOS Community Care, which he helped found in 2015 as the only physician-led performance provider system participating in New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). Dr. Tallaj oversees SOMOS’ network of nearly 3,500 health care providers and over 650,000 patients from largely underserved communities across New York City, including many Asian and Hispanic immigrants – populations that face unique health challenges. He led a delegation of SOMOS bilingual network physicians and specialists from New York to Puerto Rico in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
About The Dominican Heritage and Culture Society
The Dominican Heritage and Culture Society is a cultural foundation established in the United States with a mission to cultivate and maintain the roots that nurture the culture, history, and traditions of the Dominican people in the United States and across the globe.