14/12/2022 Juliana Széchenyi

We have a new family of 142 people

Živa Ploj Peršuh and Tomo Peršuh brought 81 young musicians from the Ukraine immediately after the start of the war in the Music for the Future project.

"In the initial chaos, we had to locate them, coordinate them and then send them from different parts of the country to the railway station or border crossing at Záhony, where we met the first group with buses," he recalls. Živa Ploj Peršuh.

The first group of 142 passengers, 81 of them young Ukrainian musicians, 14 of them minors, and others including their mothers and other family members, arrived in Ljubljana on the night of 6-7 March after a long and complicated journey. Thirty-two concerts have been given in five months.

Conductor, musicologist and artistic director of the Slovenian Youth Orchestra Živa Ploj Peršuh and music producer Tomo Peršuh had the idea to help young musicians from all over Ukraine after seeing footage of the demolished Ukrainian Music Academy. A conversation with the conductor, founder and artistic director of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine helped them decide. Oksana Liniv, which proposed to try to rescue as many young musicians as possible from the attacked country.

The project, which eventually evolved from an evacuation project into an artistic, donation, solidarity, integration project, was entitled Music for the future, its aim is not only to offer young musicians a safe temporary haven, but also to provide a stimulating and rich linguistic, educational and musical environment, continuous education and experience with renowned teachers, conductors and soloists. And what Ziva Ploi Peršuh keeps repeating: young Ukrainians in Ljubljana need to know that they are not refugees, but musicians, and she and her colleagues help them to keep their poise, pride, joy and hope.

Many individuals and institutions helped to make everything work out as smoothly as possible. Tomo Peršuh turned to an acquaintance from Maribor, a humanitarian volunteer, for help in organising the event. Uroš Dokl with experience in helping Syrian refugee children in Turkey (he was among the nominees for Del's Personality of the Year 2015 for the Jakob project, which took care of 75 Syrian children in Turkey).The Municipality of Ljubljana quickly helped with buses and four drivers, and they also provided initial accommodation in youth hotels and hostels Celica and Tresor. In addition to the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković helped to solve logistical and, above all, bureaucratic problems Andrej Šter The Slovenian police and several embassies have also helped, and many donors, not only from Slovenia, have joined the project.

In mid-May this year, Živa Ploj Peršuh spoke to Work "Three hundred are still waiting to arrive. We have arranged for them to stay, including with the families who have responded, and for now we depend only on donations. We can say that we have a new family of 142 people." Of course, Karitas, the Red Cross, Unicef Slovenia, other institutions and companies have also helped, for example, by paying the market rent for them to stay in Ljubljana for six months, invitations have come from various European orchestras, Slovene Philanthropy has helped to make it possible for young musicians to learn the Slovene language, and the list of benefactors is long.For example, the Slovenian Philanthropy has helped to make it possible for the young people to learn Slovene.

In five months, the young musicians have already performed at thirty-two concerts, and the May concert at Cankarjev dom, where they - together with fellow musicians from the Slovenian Youth Orchestra - raised donations for themselves and their families (until then, they had not yet received any decisions from the state that would have provided them with at least basic support), as well as for UNICEF's programmes to help their peers still in Ukraine, is probably a special memory for them and for the audience. But the key was something else: under the baton of conductor Živa Ploj Peršuh, they performed with one of the greatest contemporary violinists, Maestro Gidon Kremer, who spoke to Patricia Malicev before the concert for Work said: 'I only hope that my collaboration with young Ukrainian musicians will act as an injection of goodwill for them., genuine support from me."

Medium: Delo.si
Date. 2022
Link: We have a new family of 142 people