­Russian cultural events raise funds for Japanese disaster victims

Russian cultural activists continue to hold charitable events in support of Japan. The State Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra under maestro Mark Gorenstein will give a concert in memory of the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The charity concert will take place at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on March 29. The money collected will be transferred to the suffering state through the Japanese embassy in Moscow.

“The Orchestra’s earnings will be transferred to the account opened by the embassy of Japan… And regarding the total income from the ticket sales, the orchestra has no rights to dispose of this money, as the Orchestra wasn’t the organizer of the concert. We participate in the event for a fee, so it’s the fee we will be transferring [to Japan] to help the suffering,” Viktor Shpinitsky, the assistant to the Artistic Director of the State Svetlanov Orchestra for work with the media told RIA Novosti news agency.  

The concert’s program will include Tchaikovsky’s The Violin Concerto and The Manfred Symphony in B minor, composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky between May and September 1885 and based on the poem “Manfred” written by Lord Byron in 1817.

“The upcoming concert and its program were planned long ago. After the events in Japan we decided to dedicate our performance to the tragedy,” Shpinitsky added.

This is not the first time the State Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra and Gorenstain has given a charity concert. In 2010, the same Tchaikovsky Hall saw the orchestra’s charitable concert in memory of the Moscow Metro blasts’ victims.

Russia’s celebrity rock-musicians “Mashina Vremeny” or Time Machine were the first public figures to hold a charitable concert in support of Japan on March 18. The band’s fee, worth a million rubles (some US$35,000) was sent to Japan trough the country’s embassy.

Prominent conductor and Artistic Director of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre maestro Valery Gergiev also declared his intention to hold a series of charity concerts in support of Japan, speaking at a media conference for the opening of the next Easter Festival in Moscow.

Russian and Japanese students of the Moscow Conservatory also plan on playing several fundraising concerts for Japan.

Moreover, the culture festival “New Russia – 20 Years” that will be held in Japan this year will this time be a charitable event with all the expenses to be covered by the Russian party. The earnings from the festival’s ticket sales will go to the Japanese Red Cross Foundation.

Western celebrities also opened their hearts and wallets to help those suffering in Japan. Singer Lady Gaga raised US$1.5 million and has vowed to continue helping the victims of the earthquake and tsunami disasters, according to an ANI news agency report. Hollywood actress Sandra Bullock and pop singer Gwen Stefani both donated $1 million each.

Latest reports say the tragic events in Japan claimed over 10,600 lives, with more than 16,500 others still missing.

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