Rhinegold Photo credit: Andy Tyler
British pianist Margaret Fingerhut has designed a recital series to raise awareness and funds for UK refugees

Josephine Miles

Piano recital series raises money for UK refugees

2:30, 23rd September 2019

British pianist Margaret Fingerhut is touring the UK with a specially created recital programme designed to increase awareness of refugee needs and raise funds for UK refugees and asylum seekers

Fingerhut was inspired by the idea of how displacement and migration affected the lives of great composers. In her concert series, titled ‘Far from the Home I Love’, she tells the stories of some of these composers through their piano music.

Her programme includes works by Chopin, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov as well as a new commission from Arian, the Kurdish composer who wrote the Refugee Nation Anthem for the 2016 Olympics.

Of Ukrainian, Polish and Irish descent, Fingerhut says she has ‘always been acutely aware of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, never more so than today, given the climate of increasing hatred, intolerance and hostility to “others”.’

She wanted to find a unique way of raising awareness and money for UK refugees, so was ‘very excited’ to come up with her musical idea. ‘It struck me that the landscape of classical music would be very different if composers had not been allowed to migrate. Many of the world’s best-loved composers had to move from their homeland, either because of war or fear of persecution, or they simply migrated for their work.

‘I have picked all the pieces for their association with the theme of migration, exile and homesickness. However, I have designed the programme to be by no means just sad! The music I have chosen is also uplifting, happy, even humorous, as well as emotional, dramatic, heroic and virtuoso.’

Working with the charity City of Sanctuary, Fingerhut aims to raise £88,000 by the end of this year: £1,000 for each of the 88 keys of the piano. To make a donation, visit givey.com/margaretfingerhut

For more information and recital dates, visit margaretfingerhut.co.uk/far-from-the-home-i-love   

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