I am delighted to announce that our Fundraising Concert for Kharkiv Children at The Other Palace in London, where Ukrainian & British musicians joined the legendary British actors Bill Nighy and Chiwetel Ejiofor raised over £7,000.00!
On the 30th September, a most incredible concert took place at the 100-seat Studio at The Other Palace. Ukrainian & British musicians were joined by the legendary British actors Bill Nighy and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to raise funds for the children of Kharkiv and its regions.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, positioned only 25 miles from the Russian border, has been targeted almost daily with missile attacks, disturbing its citizens, and ruining the infrastructure. Many civilians have been injured (and some, sadly, killed). There has hardly been a single day since the start of the war (24 February 2022) without the city being bombarded. Kharkiv region includes Izyum, which was so much in the news recently, where 400 graves of people, who had been tortured before they were killed, were discovered.
The audience experienced a wide range of emotions, from the deep poetry of Pablo Neruda, recited by the BAFTA Award winning actor, director and writer Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is also the Official Patron of the ‘Support Kharkiv Foundation’, to the humorous poem ‘My Valentine’ by John Fuller, recited by the multi-award-winning actor of both stage & screen, Bill Nighy, whose expansive career now spans fifty years. Both actors delivered powerful readings.
In between, the audience were able to hear music by jazz harpist Alina Bzhezhinska (also a composer, band leader, & founder of contemporary music platform HipHarpCollective), the extraordinarily beautiful performance of singer/songwriter BLÁNID, plus an emotional speech and performance by Eugenia (the Ukrainian singer, who studied in Kharkiv), powerful film music by Bradley Russeau (UK-based composer and musician) and piano performances by Kharkiv-born composer and pianist, GéNIA, the founder of Support Kharkiv Foundation’. The dress for the concert was created by the award- winning eco-sustainable designer José Hendo. Photos were taken by Maurice Sparrow.
'Support Kharkiv Foundation’ is a micro-trust, in aid of ‘GivingWorks’, a charity registered in England and Wales (charity registration no.1078770).
Not only were the proceeds of this sold-out event sent to ‘Support Kharkiv Foundation’, but the awareness of the issue moved people who could not come to the concert to donate generously to the charity.
One of my performances combined music, together with footage supplied by Kharkiv TV Channel ‘Suspilne Kharkiv’, about fire-fighters, and their rescue work. The last epic composition, created by Bradley Russeau and myself, was dedicated to Kharkiv & its citizens. Many of the audience were in tears during the whole event, at which several citizens from Kharkiv were also present.
There are not enough words to describe my gratitude to all the artists: Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alina Bzhezhinska, BLÁNID, Bradley Russeau and Eugenia as well as many people who made this concert possible: the award-winning designer José Hendo for creating a special dress for this event, photographer Maurice Sparrow for taking the official pictures of the evening, Thornhill Pianos for providing and tuning the piano, Laura Symons and Ciara Parkes for helping with the PR for the event, Christopher Green for creating marketing materials, my incredible assistant Jeremy Sliwerski for helping me to organise and run the event, also my helpers on the day Leta Gallo and Alberto Turcato, the staff at The Other Palace, as well as our beautiful audience and many kind and generous people who have donated directly to the 'Support Kharkiv Foundation'.
If you would like to continue supporting the foundation in helping the children and citizens of Kharkiv and its regions, you are very welcome to donate via our website https://www.kharkivfoundation.org
Thank you very much.