The Delphi Trio | The Delphi Prison Project
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The Delphi Prison Project

The Delphi Trio, partnered with organizations in the local Bay Area community, presents live concerts to incarcerated individuals in prisons and jails. The mission of this project is to create accessibility and educational opportunities for citizens with limited rights and no regular access to concert experiences. The Delphi Trio members and other musicians/ensembles in the community work together to perform and present high-quality musical experiences to inmates within their own facilities. Scheduled visits include curated programs, discussions and interactions with the residents, and Q&As. The musicians sit amongst the inmates while playing, sometimes separated by glass (by law), but strive to deliver the most direct and tangible musical experience to those who listen.


If the facility does not have a piano, the Delphi Trio works with local rental companies to rent and deliver pianos to ensure the residents the full concert sound. All involved musicians donate their time and skills to perform for residents in these facilities, and officials in the jails help facilitate this collaboration, and welcome soul-nourishing performances for the residents.


The Prison Project is also designed to push against the existence of concert privilege, and bring the experience of live classical chamber music to everyone, and not just those with the means to pay for it. The string quartet, piano trio, and other chamber ensembles were built around the concept of friends that played music casually for one another in smaller, intimate settings. With the Prison Project, we hope to achieve that ambience for incarcerated individuals.


The trio hopes this will also galvanize those who see the project in active society to raise awareness of the United States Prison System, and move legislators towards a comprehensive plan that directs the system more towards equality, rehabilitation, and recovery.


If you’d like to support this cause (travel costs, piano rental), please visit our donation page here.


Michelle Kwon explains the role of different voices in a string quartet to women at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA.


Liana Berube & John Tenney, violinists, along with Su Buchignani on viola and Michelle Kwon on cello, perform works by Mendelssohn, Glass, Morrison, and Cohen.