Local music directaor performs at Carnegie Hall

Michael Abels

Michael Abels, director of New Roads School in Santa Monica, hit the big time on Sept. 25 when one of his pieces was performed at Carnegie Hall by the renowned Harlem Quartet. His piece, “Delights and Dances,” celebrated the Sphinx Organization’s 10th anniversary and its commitment to promoting the works of black and Latino musicians.

Abels’ partnership with Sphinx and the Quartet-a group of young musicians who spend as much time bringing music into their communities as they do performing in concert halls-is part of a nationwide movement to help increase the number of blacks and Latinos in music schools, as professional musicians and in classical music audiences.

“Michael was chosen for the commission because he is one of the leading African-American composers working today,” said Sphinx Organization President Aaron Dworkin. “As Sphinx presents the most talented musicians from around the country, Michael’s work represents the height of artistic excellence. We could think of no better composer with whom to partner.”

In addition to his work as a composer, Abels runs the music program for New Roads School, an independent K-12 college preparatory school with campuses in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu.