The Green Salon Flourishes: Music, Green, Conversation on May 20th

Changing financial times and new alliances have given rise to an innovative eco-artistic gathering, The Green Salon, held monthly at Klavierhaus on piano row on West 58th Street. The Salon is enjoying a growing an audience and meeting a need for New Yorkers looking for a meaningful way to relax, learn and meet one another after work and before dinner and all for a modest contribution at the door.

Created by Peter Fusaro and his wife Carmen Cook, it was born of their desire to do something worthwhile that also brought their divergent worlds together. Mr. Fusaro, author of 16 books on energy, environment and green finance is a keynote speaker and consultant who has hosted the annual Wall Street Green Trading Summit for the past eight years. Ms. Cook, a Juilliard graduate in voice, wanted to get back to her musical roots after a diverse skill set had led to serial careers as an entrepreneur. They met on and married three years ago, a case of later life love born of optimism and hope and a shared belief that the best is yet to come.

“We were quite mis-matched but we wanted to be together. He spoke of carbon sequestration on our first date while I stared blankly at his moustache. He has Sicilian roots while I am from Iowa, completely mid-western. He walks, I amble. He reacts quickly, I ponder. We eloped to Sedona and were married in the Red Rocks and the adventure continues.”

Then the idea came: What if we combined our interests and hosted an old fashioned salon where people listen to music and hear an enlightening speaker and converse, ask questions and learn. Carmen knew the brothers Sujatri and Gabor Riesinger, owners of Klavierhaus, and approached them about hosting the salon approximately once a month in their Fazioli Salon. Frequently hosts to such artists as Garrick Ohlsson and Benjamin Hochman, artists who want to rehearse prior to professional engagements, they are master piano builders. The brothers agreed, dates were selected, artists and speakers were invited and a website was begun. Mr. Fusaro’s intern, newly enrolled Columbia graduate student Yasmin Razwadowski, set up a network of interested students and professionals. Carmen decided on the artists, classical to Broadway to jazz and Peter invited expert green speakers from city planning, brownfields and architecture.

Each evening has been unique.

Attendees include financiers, homeland security experts, hedge fund managers, philanthropists, students, designers, people in transition. It’s a very eclectic crowd.

The seventh salon will be May 20th. Artist Jay Rattman, an ASCAP award winning composer and student at Manhattan School of Music, will perform with his jazz ensemble. Brian Yanish, creator of The Scrap Kins, has worked with Jim Henson productions and created a program for kids to Re-cyle, Re-imagine and Re-create. A minimum ten dollar donation is requested to defray expenses. With theater tickets soaring, it is a great way to experience art in New York, up close, personal, conversational and happening.