Classical Musicians Perform to Benefit Japan

By Brian McCreath

When disaster strikes, we all have the impulse to do what we can to help. While some are in a position to volunteer time and effort, the value of financial contributions to organizations that do difficult, on-the-ground disaster relief cannot be overstated.

In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan, musicians have organized several events to benefit those organizations that can most effectively alleviate the incredible pain and suffering we can only see from afar. Beyond the financial assistance generated, musicians also contribute the healing, transformative experience that only music can provide, reminding us that beauty and grace will always remain part of our world in the midst of unfathomable destruction.

Here is information about a few benefit concerts coming up. Please feel free to contribute information about other events in our comments section below.

Sunday, April 10 at 4pm – Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill
Keisuke Wakao, the Assistant Principal Oboist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (left) has organized a concert of music by Elgar, Handel, Schumann, and more, colleagues Alexander Velinzon, violin, Roger Tapping, viola, Natasha Brofsky, cello, Edmund Arkus, piano, and Michael Murray, organ. Mr. Wakao has organized a second benefit concert, scheduled for Oct. 16.
For more information, visit the Church of the Redeemer

Monday, April 11 at 8pm – Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
The Tokyo String Quartet has organized a concert that includes music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Barber, Rachmaninoff, and more. Along with the Tokyo Quartet, performers include Syoko Aki, Wendy Sharp, and Ani Kavafian, violin; Ettore Causa, viola; Ole Akahoshi, cello; and the Linden String Quartet.
For more information, visit Yale University

Wednesday, April 13 at 3pm – Marsh Chapel, Boston University
The New England String Quartet performs works by Joe Hisaishi and Yumi Kimura (used in award-winning Hayao Miyazaki's films), as well as music by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart. All donations will be sent to the Japan relief efforts at the American Red Cross.
For more information, visit New England String Quartet

Saturday, April 16 at 3pm – Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston
Boston Cecilia performs Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. Soloists include soprano Jessica Cooper and baritone Robert Honeysucker, and they're joined by conductor Donald Teeters and organist Barbara Bruns.
For more information, visit Boston Cecilia

Further a field geographically, but also as close as your computer, the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Berlin teamed up on March 29 for a concert that benefited UNICEF’s Japan relief efforts, a concert you can experience via the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall. Even if you don’t watch and listen to the concert, take a few moments to hear the inspiring words of the conductors of these orchestras, Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim.


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