Cecilia String Quartet Brings Classical Music to Children and Families Living With Autism

I am always delighted by the passion and determination that my clients bring to their work. When we do what we love, and we strive to do it well, our personal dreams become gifts to the world. When we match our skills with the needs of our communities, then we can truly have a lasting impact. 

The Cecilia String Quartet, recently nominated for a Juno award, continually amaze me with their tireless commitment to excellence in their craft as well as to arts education and activism. Not only are they each masterful musicians who together give performances as cathartic, intense, and spirited as any rock concert, but they also fold into their work educational projects that benefit the community, young aspiring musicians, and underserved populations. 

When Cecilia String Quartet became aware of a barrier in the arts to people and children with autism, they set out to create a concert series designed for and welcoming to those with disabilities. While the concerts are open to the general public, Cecilia's unique approach to programming and the inclusive nature of the Xenia concert environment make these chamber music performances more accessible and appealing for those living with autism. 

Continuing in Cecilia's tradition of arts-activism, the Xenia Concert Series recognizes how positive and therapeutic music can be for many who are otherwise excluded from the chamber concert experience. Back by popular demand for its second season, the Xenia Concert Series takes its name from the Greek word for hospitality to all, no matter their condition, and features high quality performances of gems from the chamber music repertoire. What results is a transportive, intimate and inclusive musical journey into the classical world for children and families living with autism, as well as others with disabilities. 

[I]t is truly meaningful for children with disabilities and their families to be able to go to a concert and share the wonderful experience of music, since it is otherwise not feasible ... you make a lot of people very happy and allow them to have a unique life experience. -Elizabeth, North York

Created by Cecilia String Quartet in partnership with experts in the field of autism, the Xenia Concert Series is sponsored by Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, and the University of Toronto.