Andrew Janss

Recover and Renew Cohort

Andrew Janss is creating economic opportunities for music artists through outreach to hospital patients suffering from isolation.

Andrew Janss is the founding cellist of the Escher Quartet, one of the most highly acclaimed string quartets of its generation. He has performed in venues across five continents, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House, and the Louvre. He is the co-artistic director of Project: Music Heals Us, a nonprofit that brings high-quality, live music performances and music education to marginalized communities, such as nursing-home residents, incarcerated people, and refugees.

In the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns of live performances across the U.S., Janss and his co-director at Project: Music Heals Us, the violinist Molly Carr, launched a new initiative called, “Vital Sounds,” which provides comfort and connection for intensive-care-unit patients through live, virtual performances.

As an Emerson Collective Fellow, Janss is expanding “Vital Sounds” to create paid opportunities for artists to perform directly for hospitalized patients who are experiencing acute isolation during COVID-19. At the same time, the initiative will provide an economic lifeline for performers whose livelihoods have been threatened by the shutdown of live arts programming during the pandemic.