09/05/2022 Juliana Széchenyi

Musicians from Ukraine and Slovenia at Cankarjev dom

The day after tomorrow, the young musicians will raise money for their stay in Ljubljana and for UNICEF's peer support programmes in Ukraine.

Music for the Future is the motto of the charity concert on Wednesday at Cankarjev dom by young musicians from Ukraine, united with the Slovenian Youth Orchestra under the baton of the conductor Live Ploj Peršuh, and with the much-awaited guest, violinist Gidon Kremer. The event will raise money for the participating musicians and their families, as well as for UNICEF's peer support programmes still in Ukraine. For the school year that started with hope in this post-Covid-19 country is ending with empty and destroyed schools and millions of displaced children.

The extended family of Živa Ploj Peršuh and her husband Toma Persuha, which launched a campaign just over two months ago to help young musicians and their families to come to Slovenia, has about 140 members, about 80 of them musicians. One of the main thoughts that led them to Slovenia at that time was the possibility to continue to create.

Instruments are also the easiest way to help, which is why they have already taken part in charity concerts for their homeland, and this year's concert will also be aimed at raising money for their stay in Ljubljana, for accommodation, food and everything else they need, as they have still not received any decisions from the state that would provide them with at least basic support.

Coordinating school and exercises

According to Živa Ploj Peršuh, they have been preparing for the concert intensively for three weeks, and the tension has intensified especially in the last few days, when they spent most of the May Day holidays and weekends together. They have got on well with the members of the Slovenian Youth Orchestra, but the most challenging task is organising the rehearsals, as the children have a lot of work to do at this time, finishing their school grades, some of them also with their final exams. "But I think we will achieve our goal, which is integration into the orchestra," says Živa Ploj Peršuh, who emphasises all the time that they want to integrate the children from Ukraine into society as young musicians, not as refugees.

One of the highlights of this much anticipated concert, also among young musicians, especially violinists, is the meeting with one of the best violinists of the time, Gidon Kremer. His participation is a web of several happy coincidences, one of which is certainly the fact that he is in the neighbourhood at this time, and above all that he has a great ear for helping young people. Together they will implement the Schuman Violin Concerto, originally written for cello, but adapted for his chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica, which is certainly a great honour, she added. Several other tours and concerts are in the pipeline, the next major one will take place on 7 June at the Križanke.

Material and financial assistance

Other institutions are also trying to help Ukraine through charity events. Last weekend, the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana hosted a ballet concert for peace, especially for mothers with children. Donations were collected by the Slovenian Karitas, which has already raised €2.25 million in cash and another €1.6 million in material donations for Ukraine. So far, €1.1 million in cash has been transferred to Caritas Ukraine and 16 shipments of material aid worth €785,000 have been sent.

The Red Cross has raised more than €865,000, with €510,000 transferred to local organisations and around €325,000 in material aid already delivered. They added that the aid they provide every day to refugees on the move or in Slovenia has not yet been fully valued.

With the help of donors from our country, UNICEF Slovenia has so far donated more than 600,000 euros to children and families in Ukraine. This concert will also be a parallel event to collect donations for them, because, as they warn, the school year in Ukraine is coming to an end with closed classrooms and decimated schools. "Providing access to education can make the difference between feeling hopeful or hopeless for millions of children," he stressed. Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. "This is vital for their future and for the future of Ukraine as a whole."

Medium: Delo.si
Author: Simona Bandur
Date: Mon 9 May 2022
Link: Musicians from Ukraine and Slovenia at Cankarjev dom