This year’s AAF Music for Medicine Benefit took place virtually on December 16, 2020.
It was a one-of-a-kind, spectacular evening with great musical performances by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Yefim Bronfman as well as an outstanding COVID-19 talk given by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Ten minutes before the beginning of the gala, the audience had the chance to go on a virtual tour of Schloss Arenberg, Salzburg, home of the Open Medical Institute (OMI).
Thomas J. McGrath, Chairman of the American Austrian Foundation, and Daisy M. Soros, Music for Medicine Benefit Co-Chair, warmly welcomed the audience and introduced Daniel Froschauer, Chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who together with Rainer Honeck, concertmaster, and Anneleen Lenaerts, principal harpist, sent musical greetings from Vienna (Camille Saint-Saëns, Fantasie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124).
Dr. Augustine Choi, Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, highlighted the relationship between his institution and the American Austrian Foundation, which dates back to the founding of the Open Medical Institute in 1993.
During his speech, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, thanked the Open Medical Institute for its work and provided the audience with a very comprehensive, cutting-edge summary on COVID-19 and vaccine prospects. His message was clear: There is light at the end of the tunnel!
Pablo Legorreta, CEO of Royalty Pharma and AAF Board Member, thanked Dr. Fauci for his outstanding talk and announced a donation of USD 250,000 to endow the OMI Seminar in Pulmonology.
With Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne, Op. 27, No. 2, pianist Yefim Bronfman, a loyal AAF/OMI supporter, sent musical greetings from New York.
Dr. Wolfgang Aulitzky, CEO of the Open Medical Institute, moderated the benefit and summarized the foundation’s activities in this challenging COVID-19 year – a year like no other. By developing adaptive learning formats (hybrid seminars and webinars, called OMInars), the OMI was able to run 24 courses and train more than 600 fellows from all over the world, bringing the total number of trained physicians to more than 24,000.
Funds raised by this year’s benefit enable the American Austrian Foundation/Open Medical Institute to continue its educational work in the fields of pulmonology, anesthesiology and intensive care and infectious diseases – services that are more vital than ever.
We would like to thank all contributors and performers for making this transatlantic co-production a great success.
If you wish to make a donation, please go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/americanaustrianfoundation or call +1 212 856-1075.