Meet the Artists: String Quartet Bringing Concerts and Music Education to the Children of Syria at Za'atari Refugee Camp

Please support our August 19-26 Residency by musicians from the MET Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and Music for Life International to bring hope and healing to Syrian refugee youth and children

 Our poster for SHOSTAKOVICH FOR THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA on a wall in Za'atari   Refugee Camp in Jordan.


Music For Life International Artistic Director, George Mathew, will bring an international string quartet of musicians from the MET Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and New World Symphony, three of whom participated in Shostakovich for the Children of Syria at Carnegie Hall, to Zaatari Refugee Camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, and indeed, the Middle East. The quartet will present performances of music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Josef Haydn, Alexander Borodin, and Syrian composer Kareem Roustom.


Some of the performances will include special activities for the young audiences at Za'atari including first lessons for a group of young people who will be introduced to the possibilities of string playing for the first time. We will to introduce basic music education concepts such as rhythm, singing skills and musical literacy as well as string instruction, augmenting a fledgling recorder program begun in collaboration with our partner Questscope two months ago which could become the foundation for a longer term music education program in Za'atari.


We are excited to report that our residency will be covered in detail by a major US television network whom we will announce in more detail closer to the time of arrival in Jordan. This will make it possible to share the impact of this effort with hundreds of millions of people around the world.


Please make a pledge on our Kickstarter Campaign today to support these concerts and music education in Za'atari Camp August 21-26.



Mary Ann Mumm, Violin


Mary Ann Mumm made her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at age 15 as first prize recipient of the MSO Young Artists Competition. She continued studies at Indiana University with Josef Gingold and served as his graduate teaching assistant. Ms. Mumm is currently Professor of Violin at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University. During her tenure as President of the American String Teachers Association-NJ, the state was honored with 5 national awards. Ms. Mumm's past positions include Assistant Professor of Violin at Northwestern University and violinist in the MET Orchestra, performing extensively on international radio television as well as recording on the Sony and Deutsche Gramophon labels.


Passionately involved in the music for social change movement, Ms. Mumm serves on the faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. As founding coordinator for the YOA Global Leaders Program, she has lead musical outreach projects in Mexico, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Ms. Mumm is also on the faculty of Orquesta Filarmonica Joven de Colombia, coaching FJC for their inaugural 2010 season, the first international broadcast performance of "From the Top" (2012) and FJC performances at the Cartagena International Music Festival and the New World Center in Miami.


Ms.Mumm served as Principal Second Violin in Music For Life International's SHOSTAKOVICH FOR THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA at Carnegie Hall.

Deborah Greitzer, Violin

Deborah Greitzer has been a member of the First Violin section of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for over forty years. She studied with Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard and Sarah Lawrence, where she received her BA, as well as with Oscar Shumsky. She also studied with Donald Weilerstein at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she earned her MFA.


In addition to her orchestra work, she regularly performs with the Arcadia Trio, which has played in the US, Canada, Indonesia, and Thailand, holding residencies at Rangsit University in Bangkok and Payap University in Changmai. She has also performed and taught in Cuba, Peru, and, for many years, Haiti. Many of her students from St. Trinite in Port-au-Prince and l'Ecole de Musique Dessaix Baptiste in Jacmel, have continued with careers as violinists and teachers. She also has students in Canada, where she lives.


Ms. Greitzer was a member of the First Violin section in MFLI's SHOSTAKOVICH FOR THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA at Carnegie Hall.

Craig Mumm, Viola


Craig Mumm is the Associate Principal Violist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York. Mr. Mumm started his musical studies with his father, Edward Mumm, Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He continued his violin studies with Shmuel Ashkenasi, first violinist of the Vermeer String Quartet. Mr. Mumm has recorded extensively on the Deutsche Grammaphon, Sony, Naxos and Decca labels. His 2011 Grammy nominated, world premier recording of Franco Alfano's Piano Quintet was warmly praised in The Strad magazine. Mr. Mumm is a member of the string faculty at Rutgers University where he teaches viola and chamber music and teaches in the MAP program at the Juilliard School in New York. In addition, he is on the faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, participating in YOA's international residencies and tours and is on the faculty of FEMUSC, the Festival of Music, Santa Catarina Brazil.


Recent international teaching, solo and chamber music performances include residencies at the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras, "El Sistema," in Caracas, Venezuela, the Instituto Superior de M�sica Estado de Veracruz Mexico, Esperanza Azteca-Puebla, Mexico, Filarm�nica Joven de Colombia, ASM Music Festival in Panam�, SINEM, the Orquesta Sinf�nica de Liberia, Costa Rica.


Mr.Mumm served as Principal Viola in Music For Life International's SHOSTAKOVICH FOR THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA at Carnegie Hall.

Rosanna Butterfield, Cello

For the first 11 years of her life, cellist Rosanna Butterfield lived in Winchester, England and spent her summers backstage at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. Rosanna has studied with Judith Fraser and with renowned pedagogue Norman Fischer at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. 


Rosanna spent three summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (2009-2011), where she worked with James Levine, Kurt Masur and many other renowned conductors and soloists. She graduated cum laude from Rice University in May 2012. Rosanna performed in the world premiere of Jake Heggie's "Pieces of 9/11," a 2011 commission by the Houston Grand Opera, and in 2012, she premiered a concerto written for her by her friend and colleague, Ross Griffey.


In the summers of 2013 and 2014, Rosanna was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, under the baton of conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev and Ivan Fischer. Rosanna is about to begin her third season as a fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. During her time at there, she participated in many outreach opportunities, especially in NWS's program with the Academia Filarmonica de Medell�n, Colombia.


Kareem Roustom, Composer

Kareem Roustom is an Emmy nominated composer who has composed music for film, television, the concert hall and album projects. Steeped in the musical traditions of the Near East and trained in Western concert music and Jazz, Syrian-born Kareem Roustom is a musically bilingual composer who has collaborated with a wide variety of artists ranging from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Shakira, The Kronos Quartet, to a recent commission for Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. An active composer of film music, Roustom's scores have earned him an Emmy nomination, a fellowship to the Sundance Film Composers Lab and acclaim in reviews by the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and other awards.


As a concert composer Roustom has been commissioned by groups such as the Kronos Quartet, Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra (Education Department), The Boston Children's Chorus, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the Damascus Festival Chamber Ensemble, and others. Roustom's works have also been performed by The Philadelphia Sinfonia, I Palpiti, The Firebird Ensemble, The Ibis Camerata, Lunatics At Large, In-Flux, the Apple Hill String Quartet, pianist Sally Pinkas, The Golden Gate Men's Chorus, Choir of the 21st Century (U.K.), The Peninsula Women's Chorus, Choir, Coro Allegro, Intercultural Journeys, Alba Ensemble (France), Notes Inegales (U.K.), Orchestre du Coll�ge et des Jeunesses Musicales de St-Maurice (Switzerland) and others.

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Our residency is a partnership with Questscope, a visionary non-profit organization based in Amman, and the world renowned Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. The ensemble will present a masterclass workshop for students at the National Music Conservatory / King Hussein Foundation in Amman. 

With the generous support of the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizen Fund at Tufts University's IGL and our longtime friends George Landegger and Parsons & Whittemore Inc., we have already raised $15,000 of what we need to fund this residency. Please help raise the final $5,000. 

With your generous contribution of any amount, you will be part of this special effort to embrace the young people of Syria, who have already suffered so much, in our global circle of caring.


Help us make that difference.  Make a  pledge today on


We will keep you posted with news from Jordan and from Za'atari camp in the days and weeks ahead. Follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter.


George Mathew with Questscope staff and mentors at Za'atari

Music for Life Artistic Director, George Mathew, with violins for children and youth at Za'atari Refugee Camp

Mary Ann Mumm teaching in Jamaica

Craig Mumm teaching

New York Times

Movement III: 
(The Continuous) by Kareem Roustom
Video of February 2012 performance. Kareem Roustom has specially arranged this movement for string quartet for our MFLI Residency at Za'atari Camp.  
music for life international, inc. (MFLI) was created to conceive and present musical concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises and other public interest issues in the United States and throughout the world. MFLI takes its name from the legendary MUSIC FOR LIFE concert led by Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall in 1987.

MFLI is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization.