Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charity Concert for the Japan disaster relief

Last night, I gave a solo recital in Berlin as a charity for the Japan disaster relief. The idea came up from my elder sister, who has been staying in Berlin for five weeks with her children, and recently decided to stay another month in Europe because of the situation in Japan. Some other friends of mine also sent me kind messages, so I was much encouraged and motivated to do such a thing.

On Wednesday night (16th), I sent an email to the owner of the Piano Salon Christophori, Christoph Schreiber, asking if he could organize a charity concert. He called me the next morning and immediately said “We must do it! I've already talked to a few people who could help us for the organization. Send me your program as soon as possible!” So we decided the date and the program, making the advertisement and sent out the information by email, putting information in various websites on the same day (Thursday).

Although we had only 4 days to advertise, many people helped for the advertisement, and I was very touched by the quick and kind reaction of people during the course of preparation.

The Piano Salon Christophori is a piano atelier in Berlin-Wedding (it moved from Prenzlauerberg last year), which has a concert series of piano recital and chamber music, using their antique pianos. I had already played in the Salon about 5 times, and enjoy its casual atmosphere, the unusual and charming pianos (for me) and the public's attention.

When I played the last time (May 29th on the occasion of the both Albeniz's birth- and Balakirev's death anniversary), there were about 120 people. So I was hoping to have about 100 people this time.

Then, I had a great surprise at the concert. There were about 170 people in the audience! I played the works by Bach, Chopin, Liszt and Takemitsu. At the end of the last piece of my program, Litany by Takemitsu, there was a perfect silence lasted more than 30 seconds...it was a very intense and peaceful moment.

As an ancore, I offered the public a "surprise". I accompanied my sister and her children singing a Japanese song “Furusato (hometown)” along with my friend of Bariton singer, Vitaly Yushmanov. Apparently the public enjoyed so much that they gave us a standing ovation and didn't stop clapping for a while. I think it was an emotional moment for all the people who were there.

Even after offering such a nice present to the audience, the children didn't finish their job. They had to collect the donation from the audience and give them a famous “crane origami” made by themselves.

Finaly we were all surprised by the total amount of donation, which was far beyond our expectation! The amount was 3330 EUR (plus a few Turkish coins...it would make it maybe 3333!). I added 50 EUR from my CD sale to it, so I will send the amount of 3380 EUR to the German Red Cross. I will put the certificate on this page later on.

I would like to thank all the people who supported the charity concert and donated generously for Japan. I really hope it will help some people who are still suffering and in great need of help.

Vielen herzlichen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung für Japan! Ich hoffe sehr, dass es einigen Leuten in meinem Heimatland hilft, die immer noch leiden und große Hilfe zum leben brauchen.