Eleanor Kelner, David Lisker, Art Lisker

Lisker Music Foundation (LMF) is a non-profit 501(c) organization that views music and the arts as the heart and soul of every thriving community.  Where all other academic studies train the mind, the arts train a person to be in tune with their emotions, sense of morality, and sense of humanity.  Only through the emphasis and education of the arts do we achieve a society of people who think about their surroundings, care about how their actions effect those around them, and ultimately what they can do on an individual level to make their community a better place. 

Our Mission

  • Present exciting, interesting, and accessible concerts so that  everyone (regardless of age or musical background) may experience the inspiring effect that only live performances can have.
  • Support musicians by providing performance opportunities, financial assistance, masterclasses, and exposure so that they may achieve their ambitions and fulfill their potentials.

Our Story

Art Lisker, 17 years old

Art Lisker, 17 years old

LMF is a family organization established in 2001.  Founder, Art Lisker, is a classically trained violist, violinist, and pianist who graduatedfrom the acclaimed Glinka Music Conservatory in Novosibirsk, Russia from which such music stars as Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin emerged.  Within the Lisker family, music has always been much more than just a hobby or a source of entertainment, it was quite literally a way of life, and a means of survival.  So when they arrived in the America in 1990, Art immediately began to give his 4 year old son, David, violin lessons.  This is when he discovered his passion for teaching, and nurturing a love for music in children (today his private studio includes over 40 kids under the age of 18).  As David’s playing developed, and it became clear that he would undoubtedly pursue a career in music, Art began to consider the overwhelming challenges that awaited his son.  He understood that one of the most devastating things that happens all too often, is when hopeful students who have dedicated nearly two decades of their lives to music, graduate from the safety of school and discover a brutally competitive world without teachers, lessons, classes, and concerts towards which to practice.  So, in partnership with his sister, Eleanor Kelner, Art established the Lisker Music Foundation.

David went on to graduate from the Manhattan School of Music in 2008 where he studied with Pincahs Zukerman and Patty Kopec, and received his Masters Degree from the Juilliard School in 2010 where he studied with Itzhak Perlman.  He enjoys a prolific concertizing career, but his passion for furthering the work of his family within the foundation only grew with time, and today he is very active as LMF’s Artistic Director.

Over a decade later, LMF has gone from being one father’s desire to help his son realize his dreams, to an organization that has not only firmly established itself as one of the leading presenters of world class concerts in the Chicagoland, but an all-encompassing proponent of the arts in the community.

LMF Concert Series

LMF has been presenting brilliant musicians throughout the Chicagoland since 2001.  Our concerts have been top cultural picks in the Chicago Tribune as well as the Chicago Sun-Times and have been the subject of articles in the Northbrook Star, Examiner, Mandarin Quarterly, Northbrook Tower, Splash Magazine, and Chicago Aidas Newspaper.  

We understand that no matter how profound the music is, ultimately, a concert is meant to be a source of joy, inspiration, and entertainment.  We don’t undervalue the fact that audiences continue to attend our events, often during the week, despite their busy work schedules and full family lives.  Which is why we aim to not only provide a a fulfilling opportunity for the performers to display their incredible gifts, we also emphasize the experience of the audience.  We achieve this by:

  • carefully constructing each program by selecting works that will not only inspire the musicians to play at their best, but will also be interesting and exciting for the audience to hear.
  • featuring brilliant young performers from all over the world who have dedicated their lives to music.  In order for an audience to truly appreciate a composition, it must to be delivered with passion, technical mastery, and love.
  • providing a less formal, more engaging concert experience by asking the musicians to talk to the audience throughout the performance.  This not only provides a unique personal insight of the artist in regards to the composition, but more importantly establishes a very personal connection between the audience and performer; stripping away that awkward formal barrier leaving a comfortable, casual, salon like atmosphere.
  • providing a comfortable hall with excellent acoustics and visibility.

Supporting the Musicians

We know first hand how challenging it is for young hopeful musicians to realize their dreams.  We also understand that music education has an immeasurable impact on the development of kids and young adults, which is why we are determined to provide support and encouragement to all aspiring music students regardless of age or level.  

We are constantly evolving, and adding new programs that ultimately provide opportunities and/or resources to students including:

  • LMF Concert Series is our most established program which presents world class artists in the Chicagoland.  The most effective and inspiring way to support young brilliant musicians is by providing them with a concert stage and an excited audience.
  • Annual Young Artists Scholarship Auditions providing financial grants to a number of gifted students 18 and under intended to help pay for their musical development (lessons, recordings, auditions, etc.).  Recepients of these grants are often also featured in the LMF Concert Series.
  • Open Studio Concerts which provide a consistent opportunity for local students of all ages, instruments, and levels to sign up and perform a piece of music that they are working on within a low pressure, simulated concert setting.  This enables students to have a deadline to work towards as well as a chance to work on their nerves consistently.
  • Featured Artist Masterclasses are a wonderful source of interaction between local students and world class visiting guest artists in town to perform in our concert series.
  • Ticket Giveaway is a program in which we donate hundreds of tickets every season to local students in various schools and studios so that they may experience exciting live concerts featuring world class musicians often not much older then them.